PCA PRESS RELEASE
Agreement with Alzheimer’s Society helps past and present players with dedicated dementia support.
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The Professional Cricketers’ Association, along with leading bodies in football and rugby have joined forces with Alzheimer’s Society to launch a pioneering support scheme for members affected by dementia.
The PCA, League Managers Association (LMA), Rugby Players Association (RPA) and Welsh Rugby Players Association (WRPA) have all introduced a permanent way of referring any past and present player or manager who has either been diagnosed with dementia or is caring for a loved one.
This initiative aims to make the process of getting dedicated dementia support as easy and swift as possible for current and ex-professionals. Members will benefit from personalised advice and practical and emotional support from Alzheimer’s Society’s frontline experts, to help them live well with the condition and better prepare for the future.
The scheme, which is part of Alzheimer’s Society’s Sport United Against Dementia campaign, has already resulted in people being referred to the leading dementia charity from The LMA and has been praised by the likes of sports broadcaster Hayley McQueen.
“Working with Alzheimer’s Society, we can help our members cut through any confusion and delay, so they get the right support, at the right time, in the right way.”
Ian Thomas, Director of Member Services at Professional Cricketers’ Association said: “We’ve joined forced with Alzheimer’s Society and the charity’s Sport United Against Dementia campaign, as it’s incredibly important to us that our members have access to one point of contact from experts who understand dementia, to guide them from the moment they’re diagnosed with dementia. Working with Alzheimer’s Society, we can help our members cut through any confusion and delay, so they get the right support, at the right time, in the right way.”
Sky Sports News anchor Hayley McQueen, and her father, former Manchester United player Gordon McQueen, who was diagnosed with vascular dementia in January 2021, are both currently benefitting from Alzheimer’s Society’s services.
Hayley McQueen added: “Alzheimer’s Society is there for everyone affected by dementia, the person living with it and their loved ones; I’m so grateful to know there’s a charity out there to help people through such a hard time. The charity’s services have been used more than six million times since March 2020 and are a lifeline for so many families like mine. These referral pathways will mean thousands more will have somewhere to turn to.”
Kate Lee, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society said: “We don’t want anyone to face a dementia diagnosis alone or miss out on the support they desperately deserve. It’s great to see the worlds of cricket, football and rugby uniting to create real and lasting change for people affected by dementia. Sport should be unforgettable, and with our expert services embedded within these organisations, people affected by dementia can continue to enjoy the sports they love and have a direct route to support now and in the future.”
As well as transforming the way the industry supports people affected by dementia, Alzheimer’s Society’s Sport United Against Dementia campaign will raise crucial funds for support services and will help make grounds dementia friendly, so fans with the condition can continue to enjoy watching sport in their local communities.
Alzheimer’s Society will also support research to further understand the link between sport and dementia and has directly funded its own research with former footballers and rugby players, as part of the PREVENT study.