Bob Willis Trophy to support Alzheimer’s Society’s Sport United Against Dementia
The third day of the Bob Willis Trophy final will be staged in support of Alzheimer’s Society’s Sport United Against Dementia (SUAD) campaign at Lord’s next week.
The newly-crowned LV= Insurance County Championship winners will play the runner-up in the end-of-season showpiece match, which will also raise awareness and much-needed funds for the leading dementia charity’s vital work.
Alzheimer’s Society’s SUAD campaign will bring the sporting world together to provide hope for future generations through research and transform the way sport supports people affected by dementia, so no player, former player or supporter across the nation faces dementia alone.
The campaign has already been backed by an elite group of figureheads from the world of sport, who have recently been announced as SUAD Champions, including former England captains Alec Stewart OBE, Andrew Flintoff MBE and former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne.
The captains of both competing counties will wear pin badges in their pre-match media to show their support for the SUAD campaign, with branding to appear across Lord’s throughout the match.
By working in partnership with clubs and governing bodies across multiple sports, including cricket, the campaign will help create a network of dementia friendly facilities, so people can enjoy sport for longer.
It will also raise vital funds for Alzheimer’s Society’s urgently needed support services and increase awareness of what support is available, enabling local clubs to inform and refer their players, former players, fans and their families to services so they can get the help that they need.
The campaign will also fund research to further understanding of the connections between sport and dementia and help identify the very earliest signs of dementia and what might increase a persons' risk.
Support from the Bob Willis Trophy final comes after a huge demand for Alzheimer’s Society’s services, after people with dementia have been worst hit by the pandemic.
ECB Chief Executive Officer, Tom Harrison, who sits on the SUAD Board, said: “Dementia is a cruel disease and its significant impact has hit those affected, and the family members who support them, even harder during the pandemic.
“Providing essential support and investing in research to better understand the disease is central to the Sport United Against Dementia campaign.
“I am proud that the Bob Willis Trophy final, as a showpiece event of domestic cricket, will also provide a stage to raise funds and awareness so that together we can help improve lives.”
Kate Lee, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society: “Having the support of The Bob Willis Trophy is a massive boost to our Sport United Against Dementia campaign, as we look to reach even more people in the sporting community, from fans to past and present players.
“The last two years have been incredibly tough for people with dementia in the UK and their families and our support services have been used more than 6 million times since March 2020 - having the backing of such a major fixture in cricket will help us raise crucial funds and awareness of dementia and the support available to anyone who needs it.”
Former England captain, Andrew Flintoff, said: “It’s shocking to hear that there are currently 850,000 people living with dementia today, and that’s not including the millions of family members and friends who play such a crucial role caring for loved ones with the condition. Sport has been part of my life for so long and I know the industry can make a huge difference by bringing dementia out of the shadows and making sure both sport watchers and players can get the help they deserve.
“That’s why it’s great to be supporting Alzheimer’s Society’s Sport United Against Dementia campaign as one of its Champions - together we can raise awareness of dementia and as much money as possible to provide support that is so desperately needed right now.”
To find out more about Alzheimer’s Society’s Sport United Against Dementia campaign, visit: alzheimers.org.uk/SUAD
To donate to Alzheimer’s Society, Text UNITE2 to donate £10