PFA to fund ground-breaking project
Appeal launched for volunteers to help scan over 90,000 images of sport!
The Professional Footballers’ Association is to fund a two-year project that is set to help support people living with dementia and alleviate loneliness among older people.
International news agency Reuters has released more than 90,000 iconic sporting images, delivered in 24 crates, to The Sporting Memories Foundation. The collection contains a remarkable treasure trove of photography of football and sport’s greatest heroes and most illustrious moments stretching back to the 1930’s. The Action Images picture library collection contains negatives, covering football, rugby, boxing, tennis, athletics and many more sports.
Thanks to funding from the Professional Footballers’ Association, the collection will now be digitised by The Sporting Memories Foundation as part of its award winning projects across the UK bringing older sports fans together to help deliver the initiative and play a part to tackle dementia, depression and loneliness. Teams of historians and researchers from the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University, Leeds Beckett University and Stirling University are to join this huge project.
Gordon Taylor, Chief Executive of The Professional Footballers’ Association said “The PFA are delighted to continue our support of The Sporting Memories Foundation on this exciting project which once again highlights the positive impact football and sport in general can have on all aspects of society. “
Tony Jameson-Allen, co-founder of The Sporting Memories Foundation said “ We are thrilled to receive financial backing from The Professional Footballers’ Association to make this exciting project come to life, the images we have uncovered so far are quite remarkable. We’ve worked closely with the PFA for several years, after they provided a grant to test out our work with clubs’ community foundations. This new funding means we can now purchase the equipment and training necessary to begin to work with volunteers to make this wonderful collection available to use in our work across the UK, to support older people living with dementia, depression and to help reduce loneliness and isolation.”
As part of the Foundation’s innovative solutions to tackle loneliness and isolation, plans are now being drawn up to recruit volunteers to help with the mammoth task of cataloguing and scanning this remarkable collection. Sports fans of all ages are being encouraged to get together and team up at local hubs, with each image needing to be cleaned, scanned, tagged and added to the online archive. Each of these images will in turn be used in The Sporting Memories Foundation’s work in supporting older people across communities.
Fans can register their interest in volunteering for the project at sportingmemoriesnetwork.com.
Find out more about how the Professional Footballers' Association supports both current and former members.