Matching two generations to learn from each other
The Good Match project brings together players from the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), namely from Gaelic football and hurling clubs and matches them up with older Irish people at a range of welfare centres across the UK.
The project, which is organised by Ashford Place and The Provincial Council in Britain and supported by Irish in Britain and the Irish Embassy London, is there to help the two generations connect and form a mutual respect.
Danny Maher, CEO of Ashford Place, said: “Our older people can’t wait to meet up with the young players from the Tara club in London to have a chat and also recall great sporting memories. The Good Match will be a great help in bringing the generations together.
The Good Match encourages both parties to exchange stories and participate in activities together to promote a greater understanding between the two generations.
Once the parties are matched, the organisers will help decide how they can engage and support each other effectively to get the most from the project.
Activities may include playing cards, sports or chatting about home, and what it was like to emigrate from Ireland. The sports players may host events to raise money for the centre or invite their newly–formed friends to attend a football or hurling game. Each party will likely pass on their expertise and experiences to help the other.
Chairman of the GAA and All Britain Competition (ABC), Michael Kingston said the GAA are working with other organisations to meet the health needs within elderly societies.
While speaking at the Embassy of Ireland on 7 June during the launch of the ABC, Kingston said the GAA is supporting Irish in Britain to address the onset of depression and dementia in older age noting the Cuimhne project as an example of this. He encouraged older people to participate saying:
“This involves helping to get older people involved in sport and through linking with GAA Clubs we are assisting in that aim. One of the Programmes involves Walking Football for example.”
See Michael Kingston’s full speech for more information and dates for the ABC.
We’re looking for Irish centres and welfare groups that want to be involved. If you know older people who could benefit from this project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or Brendie Brien at email@example.com to get the ball rolling. This is also a great opportunity to form new groups for older people.
Find out more about the Cuimhne project, which supports people to take the lead in running activities for older Irish people experiencing memory loss and social isolation.