Sport United Against Dementia

A family at a sports ground

Sport United Against Dementia

Sport United Against Dementia (SUAD) is a pioneering Alzheimer’s Society campaign, uniting the UK’s leading sports in the fight against dementia for the very first time.

What is Sport United Against Dementia?

Sport United Against Dementia, or SUAD, is bringing together UK sports to tackle dementia as a team.

Created in partnership with leaders from across the world of professional sport, SUAD is uniting clubs, governing bodies and individuals on an unprecedented scale.

Together we will improve lives, now and in the future, for thousands of people across the nation affected by dementia - from current and former players, to staff, supporters and fans.

Why is Sport United Against Dementia so important?

Millions of us are affected by dementia, either directly or through a loved one. This includes sports fans, professional players and ex-players.

In the UK alone, 850,000 people are living with dementia – enough to fill Wembley stadium ten times over.

Dementia can be truly devastating, stripping people of their memories, abilities, and connections to the world. But with the right support and investment in research, people with dementia can continue to enjoy life for longer, whilst we search for the treatments of the future. 

How will Sport United Against Dementia make a difference?

Working in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders, including governing bodies, leading individuals, professional and grassroots clubs, SUAD will:

  • Improve access to dementia support

Using the incredible reach of sport, we can dramatically increase awareness of dementia, the importance of seeking diagnosis and the support that is on offer.

We will ensure that people know they don't have to face dementia alone, and that we are here for them, whether they are a fan, former player or family member. We will also create dedicated referral pathways from sporting bodies and clubs into our support services, making it easier for people to gain the expert advice, guidance and information they need.

  • Increase our scientific understanding of dementia

We are investing in dedicated research projects like PREVENT:RFC, which will examine whether former professional rugby and football players show more signs of early neurodegenerative disease like dementia.

This project will use advanced brain scanning techniques and cognitive testing to compare their brains to the general population. It will also investigate whether any differences they find in the brain are associated with the athlete’s exposure to brain injury during their career. 

We are committed to understanding more about dementia including the causes and risk factors, particularly in relation to sport.

  • Reduce loneliness and isolation

We hope to achieve this by creating dementia friendly clubs. Working collaboratively with clubs, we will create dedicated guidance and interventions that mean a diagnosis of dementia doesn’t stop people enjoying the sports – and social life - they love. 

Who is involved in Sport United Against Dementia?

We’re hugely grateful to our SUAD Campaign board, made up of leading figures from the world of sport:

  • Richard Thompson (Chair), Chairman, Surrey County Cricket
  • Richard Bevan, CEO, League Managers Association
  • Mark Brittain, Chief Commercial Officer, Premiership Rugby
  • Bill Bush, Exec Director, Premier League
  • Simon Green, MD, BT Sport
  • Tom Harrison, CEO, England and Wales Cricket Board
  • Duncan Jones, Trustee, Alzheimer’s Society
  • Guy Lavender, CEO, Marylebone Cricket Club
  • James McDougall, Head of Commercial Affairs, The FA
  • Martyn Phillips, Former CEO, Welsh Rugby Union
  • Barbara Slater, Director of Sport, BBC
  • Niall Sloane, Director of Sport, ITV
  • Bill Sweeney, CEO, Rugby Football Union
  • Rob Webster, MD, Sky Sports

Bill Bush, Premier League Executive Director and Alzheimer’s Society Sport United Against Dementia board member, said:

‘We are pleased to be joining other sports organisations and broadcasters to work together to build awareness of dementia in our communities. 

Sport plays a vital role in the lives of so many and it can help people remain connected through the clubs they know and love. 

‘Through our partnership with Sport United Against Dementia, we will build on the existing work carried out by Premier League clubs to increase support for fans and communities and help break down stigma to ensure millions more people access dementia support.’

Where can I get dementia information and support?

If you or a loved one is affected by dementia, it can often be difficult to navigate day-to-day challenges.

Alzheimer’s Society is here to support everybody affected by dementia, whether it’s through fact sheets on difficulties you may encounter, or one to one support.

Dementia Connect support Line

Our dedicated support line is open seven days a week and our specially trained Dementia Advisers are here provide support and advice to people affected by dementia.

Call 0333 150 3456 or find out more information about opening hours.

Dementia directory

Our online directory links you with support services operating in your local area.

Enter your postcode to find your closest Alzheimer’s Society groups, as well as services offered by local authorities and private enterprises.

Talking Point

Many people find it useful to talk about their experiences of dementia with people who have been in similar situations.

Our online community – Talking Point – is for people affected by dementia to share their stories, and support and advise each other. It's free to use and open day or night.

How can I get involved in Sport United Against Dementia?

We can only achieve our ambitions in partnership and are calling on individuals, clubs and  professional bodies to help us build greater awareness of dementia and raise money to support our vital work.

Make a donation

Your donation to the Sport United Against Dementia campaign will make a lasting difference to people affected by dementia. You can donate online today.

Partner with us

Partnerships with clubs, governing bodies and tournaments across the sporting landscape will help us to raise vital funding and awareness of dementia and make the world of sport more accessible for people with dementia. Get in touch with our team by emailing [email protected]

Support Sport United Against Dementia

Let’s tackle dementia together as a team.

Make a donation Get in touch