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Foundation highlights Sporting Memories first month in Haverhill

The New Croft Foundation reflects on a successful first month of hosting Sporting Memories, a free weekly group designed to bring together locals over the age of 50 to share their passion for sports.


Sporting Memories in Haverhill was launched last month (June) under the guidance of Head of Foundation Lois Balfour and former Manchester City and Northern Ireland midfielder Kevin Horlock who also works as Academy Manager within the Foundation. The group meet every Thursday from 11:30am to 1:30pm at The New Croft. The sessions are free to attend and provide a welcoming space for participants to connect over their shared love of sports.


Reflecting on the sessions so far, Kevin Horlock shared his enthusiasm for the initiative. “The community around here is huge, and there’s a great opportunity to do something people can be a part of.” he said.


Kevin recounted the first session, where he shared stories from his football career, sparking lively conversations among the attendees. “One gentleman shared his connection with Harry Redknapp, and another lady, a black belt in Judo who almost qualified for the Olympic Games. It was incredible to see how a simple starting point led to a fascinating series of conversations, fostering bonding and friendship.”


The success of the Sporting Memories sessions lies in the power of these connections. Kevin emphasised, “Rhys, my colleague, led a recent session, and the natural flow of conversation created an enjoyable and friendly atmosphere. It made complete sense to let the members get to know each other and enjoy themselves.”


Since its launch, the group has seen a growing number of participants, partly due to the interest shown by The New Croft’s walking football members. The enthusiasm among the Sporting Memories members is evident as they eagerly engage in various activities. Kevin noted, “I’ve been speaking with Ben, our Physical Activity Coordinator, to organise exercise sessions and other activities like quizzes to keep the sessions interesting.”


One of the highlights of the club's activities has been a darting masterclass by a national-level darts player, the daughter of a staff member at The New Croft. This initiative showcases the creativity and community involvement that Sporting Memories inspires.


Kevin Horlock expressed his vision for the group's future growth, “I want us to develop a range of fun and exciting activities that keep everyone stimulated and enjoying the sessions. Ultimately, I want the Sporting Memories group to be a place where people feel safe to talk about anything, build friendships, and engage in activities that are good for them through sport.”


The New Croft Foundation invites all older adults in Haverhill to join the Sporting Memories sessions every Thursday from 11:30 am to 1:30pm. For more information or to attend a session, please contact The New Croft via email at info@thenewcroftfoundation.co.uk

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