Visitors to Worcester Warriors’ ground on Saturday July 24 will be finding more than ‘Sixways’ to exercise and be creative at a unique event to inspire people with Parkinson’s in the UK to ‘Find Your Way To Play’.
The Try-Athlon, organised by Sport Parkinson’s will feature a wide range of activities designed to exercise both the body and brain.
The centrepiece of the day will be football tournaments – including walking football – but there will also be ballet, boxing, tag rugby, performance poetry, radio presenting, expert neuro-physios, the chance to create your own piece of art, computer games and live music.
Exercise is increasingly being shown as part of the Parkinson’s prescription, however, to encourage people to take up and continue with an activity the emphasis is on making it fun.
People with Parkinson’s often feel less confident due to their condition, so it is essential we provide a supportive environment for all to do so that they can try new activities without judgement. Many exercise environments pose hurdles which mean that individuals may be discouraged even from having a go.
“We are both proud, humbled and delighted to be supporting Sport Parkinson’s in staging this innovative event. Everyday I take inspiration from my friend, Charlie Appleyard, on his drive, commitment and continued energy in promoting the benefits of exercise, and participation in sport, of those affected by Parkinson’s Disease.” said Warriors’ co-owner Jason Whittingham.
“We were due to stage the inaugural Cure Parkinson’s Cup football tournament last year and were very disappointed when it had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a community club we are pleased to be able to partner with Sport Parkinson’s in hosting this major event.
“We look forward to welcoming participants, their families and supporters from Worcestershire, across the United Kingdom and countries further afield to Sixways and hope that they enjoy the fantastic facilities we have here.”
This event is designed not just for the Parkinson’s Disease community, but their friends, family, and pets.
“We are hoping that the event will also allow people to see the great community teams, trainers and
creators in action; and try all of the brilliant options out there and get new contacts – but also to highlight the need for the development of relevant services,” said Charlie Appleyard, Director of Sport Parkinson’s CIC.
“There are many examples of the Physical Disability community working together, this is our opportunity to showcase them and encourage people to find their way to play”.
Sport Parkinson’s itself came into being through football, as Appleyard met Garen Williams, through PD football, specifically playing in the Parkinson’s equivalent of the world cup- The Ray Kennedy Cup.
“I saw a post on Facebook asking for players to represent the UK team in the Ray Kennedy Cup, which is an international competition for those with PD,” said Williams.
“I felt there was no chance of me being good enough, but one of my PD friends, encouraged me to have a go. So, I contacted Charlie and went to the training day in Leicester. There I met Charlie, and not only did I have a go – I became the coach.
“I have met so many great people through that experience and I wanted to help others by providing the same opportunities I had to improve their lives, not just in terms of football, but a whole range of different types of exercises that suits your ability and enjoyment with a social aspect.
“Not everyone is a football fan, and not everyone who is a fan enjoys playing.
“The UK Parkinson’s Football Team had planned to return to Copenhagen last year but was unable to as the country was in lockdown. This gave us time to focus our activities and use our skill sets in the best way to assist the wider community as much as possible.”
Sports Parkinson’s Summer Try-Athlon – ‘Find Your Way To Play’ will be staged at Sixways on Saturday July 24 where the PD Community, friends and family will come together to find out how to get the all-important medicine of exercise – in the best way possible for them.
To buy tickets for the Try-Athalon click here
More information about the event can be found on www.facebook.com/sportsparkinsons or www.sportsparkinsons.org/events