FC Twente celebrates 10 years of their ‘Talking about football’ project for seniors
The ‘Talking about Football’ project celebrates its 10th anniversary this week. Reason enough to drop by with a gift of 1000 pages on the history of FC Twente. Over the past 10 years, the senior players of FC Twente have shared many stories in the chat group. “We could have written such a thick book with all the special stories,” says Loyd Rooks, discussion leader and former player of FC Twente.
Talking about football is an initiative of FC Twente ‘Scoring in the Community’. While enjoying a cup of coffee, there is only one topic of conversation: football. It yields wonderful stories and anecdotes but also many friendships. 10 years ago, the idea arose to use FC Twente as a connecting link to reach lonely seniors and those with a limited social network. In the ‘House of stories’ community worker Gerard Kirchjunger and project leader ‘Scoring in the Community’, Dennis Wiggers came up with this project. “There is no other subject that connects people, especially men, like football. In a few weeks, we had about 15 men together who hardly knew each other. A few weeks later they were already helping each other move” says Wiggers. The discussions were led by former FC Twente player Theo Pahlplatz, who occasionally brought along a fellow footballer who could recount anecdotes from the earlier years. Some former players such as Eddy Achterberg visited several times because he had so much to tell that after two hours no one else had been able to speak.
Other former players such as Jan Jeuring, Kick van der Vall, Willem de Vries, Rik Platvoet also visited the playground in the Mekkelholt district in addition to coaches and referees such as Theo Vonk, Jan Manuel and Eric Braamhaar. Stories about European tournaments and nights out in Enschede, everything was thought back over. Of course, it always starts with the development of the current team and FC Twente Women. Former chairman, Henk Senkeldam, always made sure that everyone got a chance to speak and that in addition to stories, other activities were organised by the group.
Current chairman Gerrit Beumers says: “It is important to do a differentactivity every now and then. We went to a garden party at Benno Huve’s and we organised bicycle tours. When someone is sick, we have a ‘love and grief jar’ and occasionally we are allowed to go to an FC Twente match. The group is very close but is also getting older. We are open to new people who want to join us 2 times a month on Monday morning. When the corona period is over we will start again. People who want to talk to us can contact us via phone.”