Ray Kennedy Cup

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About us

The Ray Kennedy Cup is an international football tournament for people with Parkinson's Disease. The tournament is named after the football player Raymond "Ray" Kennedy, who himself has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at the end of his career. The idea for the Ray Kennedy Cup was created 10 years ago, by Eigil Sabroe and physiotherapist - Finn Egeberg Nielsen.

It is known that intensive training can slow the progression of the disease and maintain or increase the person's functional level. And therefore it dawned on physiotherapist Finn Egeberg Nielsen that football is tailor-made for people with Parkinson's disease. Exactly what happened when he was in the process of coaching his grandson's soccer team.

 

 

When Finn Egeberg Nielsen saw that the players benefited from the game, he worked on creating networks. The team started with eight players, and has since grown to about 20. The form of training has spread - strongly initiated by Finn Egeberg Nielsen - to the rest of the country and the Nordic countries. 

 

 

As a sports activity, football training is ideal for people with Parkinson's disease. In football, there are requirements for footwork, agility, extension in the joints, rhythms, twists / turns, springs, center of gravity awareness, acceleration / deceleration and insertion of muscle power. In this context, the movement strategies are challenged, as demands are made on timing, balance and rhythm.

Football players train symmetrical and asymmetrical movements, cross movements, also across the center of the body; they train independently with the right / left side, train the balance function and body shifts as well as eye / hand, hand / foot coordination. The football training can thus help to prevent rigidity, improve the balance in turns / turns, as well as reduce start-up problems for people with Parkinson's disease.

Members of the Board

Fit4cure is a non-profit association whose purpose is to create good conditions to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson's disease through activities characterized by exercise in particular, which at the same time contributes to networking and spreading knowledge of the disease. Fit4cure is also the association behind the tournament - Ray Kennedy Cup 

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Stig Borup Kristensen

Member of the Board 

Stig Borup Kristensen is the association's accountant and has been involved from the start. Stig is one of the driving forces behind the planning of the Ray Kennedy Cup and is also on the association's football team - FC Parkinson.

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Finn Egeberg Nielsen

Chairman

Finn Egeberg Nielsen is the chairman of the association FIT4CURE and, together with Eigil Sabroe, is one of the founders behind the tournament. Finn is also a physiotherapist specializing in Parkinson's disease. 

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Thomas Helmann Jensen

Member of the Board

Finn Egeberg Nielsen is the chairman of the association FIT4CURE and, together with Eigil Sabroe, is one of the founders behind the tournament. Finn is also a physiotherapist specializing in Parkinson's disease. 

Meet our organization
FIT4CURE
Billede af Lesly Juarez

Raymond "Ray" Kennedy 

1951 - 2021

Raymond (Ray) was born in 1951. He started his football career in the small club Port Vale. Already as a 17-year-old he came to Arsenal, where he achieved 158 matches on the 1st team.
 

In 1974, he left Arsenal in favor of Liverpool, where he was quickly a man in midfield, or as a front-runner for a total of 275 games. As a Liverpool player, he also played 17 internationals.
 

In 1982, Ray came to Swansea, though only as a short stay with 42 matches. His time at the club did not end very well as Parkinson's disease became more apparent.


In 1983, Ray moved to Hartlepool, where he tried to return to his former form. But in Hartlepool, Parkinson's disease had certainly caught up with Ray, so it only turned into a season with 23 games.


He was diagnosed at the age of 35. Ray has published a book describing his life with Parkinson's disease.

Ray died November 30, 2021


During his time at the club, Liverpool won:
First Division five times (1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80 and 1981–82), FA Charity Shield four times (1976, 1977, 1979 and 1980), Europa Cup three times, (1977, 1978 and 1981), and the UEFA Cup (1976), the UEFA Super Cup (1977) and the League Cup (1981).