SATURDAY - JUN 24TH
Uniting Parkinson´s football teams across Europe.
The football tournament is a great opportunity to unite Parkinson's football teams across Europe. It is all about being active, the community, to share the same passion and to raise awareness of Parkinson's disease.
Ray Kennedy Cup is an international football tournament for people with Parkinson's disease and has been held in the city of Copenhagen, Denmark. The tournament is named after the football player Raymond "Ray" Kennedy, who himself got Parkinson's Disease at the end of his career.
The tournament was founded by Eigil Sabroe and physiotherapist Finn Egeberg Nielsen who realized the movements in football could greatly benefit those with Parkinson's disease.
The History of Walking Football
Walking football was first introduced by the Chesterfield FC Community Trust programme in 2011 to try and improve the health of older people in the area. However, it was a few years later, in 2014, when the sport came to wider public attention. Barclays used walking football as part of their Digital Eagles TV campaign.
Another campaign from the banking company showcased the story of Steve Rich, an ex-Sunday League footballer who was forced to quit after a car accident, and his website which aims to connect all the walking football teams across the country.
Since the sport went mainstream there has been an influx of new teams around the country. In fact, it was reported in 2016 that there were more than 800 registered walking football clubs in the UK. This was more than double the number of clubs that existed the previous year.
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