This year’s IFA WorldNet and BigTamVets charity partner is Sport Parkinson’s CIC.
Sport Parkinson’s is an organisation that helps people with Parkinson’s Disease to “keep healthy and strong ’til a cure comes along!”
150,000 people in the UK have Parkinson’s Disease, the fastest growing neurological condition in the UK. It is a degenerative disease that has over 40 symptoms. There is currently no cure and all medication available alleviates symptoms but becomes less effective over time.
Among those living with PD are IFA stalwarts George Hudson and Colin Wells, from Stockport County and West Ham United respectively, and it’s in their names that the IFA has chosen the charity as this year’s partner. While Colin is away in Canada this weekend, George will be hoping to celebrate Stockport’s return to the league with a run-out in the Vets.
“The best thing about Parkinson’s was discovering that despite struggling to do something as simple as walk my football prowess, bizarrely, is totally unaffected by the disease” says George. “I can do everything I always have done. The worst thing about Parkinson’s was discovering that I must always have played football like someone with Parkinson’s!”
Colin has taken part in a number of Sports Parkinson’s activities and has also taken up walking football since his diagnosis. “Sports Parkinson’s are brilliant. They’re a grassroots organisation run by volunteers, just like the IFA, who all have the Parkinson’s condition. They run lots of events, from walking football to golf and every event I have been to is well run and raises lots of money”
It is clinically proven that doing 2.5 hours of exercise a week can slow down the progression of the disease and give people with PD improved symptoms. That is where Sport Parkinson’s comes in. The charity provides exercise classes, sporting events, sponsorship and grant funding to help people keep moving, gain access to sport and exercise they might not have otherwise and help people.
The charity has also helped start 14 walking football centres for people with PD, held a national walking football event at St George’s Park and sponsor Parkinson’s football teams to attend events.
If anyone reading this would like to know more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We ask that all vehicles on site this weekend make a donation of just £2 per vehicle, please click on the QR code below to make a donation to Sports Parkinson’s (Friends & Family please!)