MORE THAN FOOTBALL AWARD 2023 LONGLIST: KRC Genk FRZA! Foundation – KRC Jongdementie Café
The European Football for Development Network (EFDN) is proud to present the KRC Genk FRZA! Foundation – KRC Jongdementie Café project, which has been selected for the longlist of the More Than Football Award 2023.
Every four seconds, somewhere in the world, someone develops dementia. The chances of someone getting dementia are 1 in 5 and for the first time, the disease is also amongst the number one cause of death in Belgium. Despite the significant impact that (young) dementia has on society, there is still too much taboo surrounding the disease. That is why in March 2023, the KRC Genk FRZA! The foundation initiated the KRC Jongdementie (young dementia) Café, with the hope of first and foremost, giving people facing this terrible disease a place where they can be themselves without inhibition.
“With this scoop, we hope to convince other football clubs and by extension organizations to jump on the bandwagon and make (young) dementia a subject of discussion.”Initiators
MAIN PROJECT OBJECTIVES
- Map ignorance
- Raise awareness and meaning for people with dementia and for their carers
- Raise awareness about one of the number one diseases in Belgium
- Breakdown barriers affected people experience in everyday life
- Giving people with young dementia, a place where they can be themselves without inhibitions
Dementia has different faces. If the diagnosis falls before the age of 65, it is referred to as young onset dementia. The KRC Jongdementie Café works together with Alzheimer Liga Vlaanderen, VZW Menos and Stad Genk to organise lectures and workshops for people with young dementia, their partners, children, colleagues and care workers to the students. The café is open twice a month to bring fellow patients together, including various workshops and a drop-in centre for all questions one may have about young dementia. The activities offer the possibility to stimulate memories with the help of Football Memories (football memorabilia, questions…), the connection between companies that offer specific workshops for working with people affected by young dementia, as well as library functions for scientifically based reading material. Additionally, fellow young dementia participants have the possibility to run the KRC Jongdementie Café together. An exercise KRC Genk FRZA! Foundation aims to incorporate in the future, is co-recording the relationship between head contact sports and neurological damage.
Any barrier experienced in everyday life by people suffering from young dementia, the foundation aims to take away for them and give them an opportunity. Given that sports have a great impact on society and are etched in the memory of many, an initiative like the KRC Jongdementie Café is an impetus to raise awareness, allow young dementia to be a subject of discussion, gather those affected along with their surroundings and provide a safe and free environment for everyone.
“As a club, we have a great social obligation. So it’s important that everyone has a place here.”Niel Janssen, Foundation Lead at KRC Genk FRZA! Foundation