A team from Crouch Friars care home has won Colchester’s 2022 World Cup, after residents took part in games delivered by FaNs (Friends and Neighbours) and Colchester City Council, with NHS funding.
The competition, which was hosted at Colchester Sports Park, saw 54 residents and 22 carers from seven Colchester care homes enjoy a series of football-themed activities. Participants were given team uniforms and warmed up with a routine tailored for older persons. There was penalty football from Colchester United FC; football-themed Top Trumps card game; a craft session; a tense foosball table competition; the FIFA videogame on PlayStation, and a football themed quiz. Winners were awarded trophies for each activity.
For lunch, Colchester Sports Parked cooked hot dogs for all residents to enjoy at a World Cup themed party lunch.
Joyce, 86, one of the residents who took part in the games, said: It was lovely, and so nice to be invited. It was nice to be out of the home seeing other people and trying something new.”
Rebecca, a relative of one of the residents attending, said: “What a fabulous few hours! Thank you so much. We had no idea that his hand/eye coordination was so good. You've given us something to do with him – I've never seen him smile so much.”
Tony Lee, Communities Network Lead for Essex from FaNs, said: “It’s important that older people in care homes can enjoy the benefits of fitness and movement, no matter their mobility, which is why we always run multiple activities. It has been proven that benefits to mental health can be attributed to physical exercise, and we want to deliver this in a fun and free way that engages a large number of Colchester’s eldest residents whilst inspiring care homes to continue with their own activity in the future.
“I’d like to thank Colchester City Council for donating four foosball tables to care homes after the event, continuing the legacy of getting older people up and active.”
The ultimate prize was the Street Tag Care Home World Cup – sponsored by Street Tag – which was awarded to Crouch Friars for the best performance on the day.
Seun Oshinaike, Founder of Street Tag, said: “Supporting older people in care homes to enjoy the benefits of being physically active gives me great joy. Everyone should reap the rewards of being physically active regardless of age and mobility. I am happy that we can do this in Colchester. We hope to do more in the future.”
Cllr Julie Young, Colchester City Council Portfolio Holder for Housing & Communities, said: “Projects in Colchester such as the Care Home World Cup and Commonwealth Games, Park Play, Street Tag, and much more, encourage those who might otherwise be inactive to benefit from physical activity.
“Activity can help prevent illness and pain, improve sleep, lessen anxiety, improve brain and heart health. I’m proud of Colchester for running such events and know that in 2023 more is planned to get residents up and moving.”
The event is just one of the activities made possible by £1.5m funding from the NHS. The money has been awarded to Colchester City Council and Active Essex to support their work in encouraging physical activity and healthy lifestyles among the most disadvantaged communities in Colchester.
Led by Active Essex, the partners have been brought together as part of the Sport England Local Delivery Pilot (LDP), which also includes Tendring District Council, to test new health and wellbeing projects such as free-for-all Park Play, Street Tag and Beat the Streets in Colchester and Tendring from 2018-2025.
The funding links directly to the costs of the LDP already incurred over the past four years and to the delivery of the following projects which are either happening or are proposed: Essex Pedal Power; the Tendring Wheels for All Project; activities celebrating The Commonwealth Games; Park Play; Beat the Street; suicide prevention; investment in open spaces for ‘green prescribing’; youth facilities and Street Tag.