“We never stop” – launching Parkinson Games

Global update

Author: Sarah McGrathPublished: 28 April 2022

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Athletes at the sprint start line in track and field

Parkinson Games event has been postponed to 2023. Read more here.

Passionate about sports? Then get set to take part in the very first Parkinson Games, to be held in the Netherlands this summer. It’s a chance for people with the condition to raise money for research and participate in a global event supporting Parkinson’s community

Plans are underway for Parkinson Games – an event which will see people with the condition participating in around 20 specifically chosen sporting activities, from badminton to swimming to powerlifting.

Created by Dutch organisation Parkinson2Beat, the games will be held in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and around 750 people are expected to take part.

The opening day of Parkinson Games on 4 August will start with a symposium called ‘Changing perspectives’, featuring the Dutch Minister of Health Ernst Kuipers, professor of neurology Dr Bastiaan Bloem and founder of the Positive Health philosophy, Machteld Huber.

After an opening ceremony, the sport events will then take place on the 5 and 6 August at the Eindhoven University and Eindhoven Athletics tracks. The event will also include an exciting cultural gala evening on the 5 August, featuring a performance from the Dutch National Ballet.

“We hope that Parkinson Games will show people with the condition that it is fun and actually very easy to adapt to a lifestyle that results in more years with an excellent quality of life,” says Ruud Overes, who founded of Parkinson2Beat and is organising the games. “We never stop.”

Ruud Overes on a bike

Ruud Overes is passionate about the importance of exercise in helping manage Parkinson’s.

“We never stop”

Overes is enthusiastic about the importance of exercise for people with Parkinson’s, citing his own experience of life with the condition.

“A few years ago, I did a 10,000-kilometre bike trip in 80 days,” he explains. “Before and after that trip, I was independently tested and my Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS – a rating tool used to track the severity and progression of the condition), was much better afterwards,” he says. “That trip was perhaps a bit extreme, but a lifestyle that includes exercise, doing sports or dancing for half an hour three days a week is sufficient to achieve good results.”

He believes that, “When you combine this with eating healthy food, having enough sleep, not too much stress, avoiding toxic environments and remaining interested in things, it will make you feel great and enable you to enjoy an excellent quality of life.”

And, with such an impressive set of events planned, it looks like Overes’s Parkinson Games will offer participants the perfect place to celebrate the role that sports can play in the community.

Read more:

“People love competition, don’t they?”

Regular exercise may slow progression of early Parkinson’s disease symptoms

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