11 Dec 2018 in News
AFC Oldham have officially launched our Mental Health Football campaign, this will give those over the age of 18 the chance to play football for free every Friday for one hour.
Mental Health Football will start on the 11th January, at 7pm for one hour and continue every Friday concurrently, it will be hosted by Oldham Futsal Arena.
In partnership with Oldham Athletic Community Trust, Andy’s Mans Club and Oldham Futsal Arena, we aim to give those suffering with mental health issues an opportunity to play football, talk and get some respite.
First Team Manager and Executive Committee Member Ross Elliott spoke to the Oldham Reporter, about the project: “We decided as a committee last year that if we couldn’t attract shirt sponsors for any team, then rather than leave a shirt blank, we’d pay for a charity logo to be printed on the front and try to support and raise the profile of that charity. I was lucky enough to have the Blue Tiffin come on board and sponsor the first team, and Andy Steel (Second Team Manager) decided that Andy’s Man Club would be the charity he’d focus on for the second team.”
Second Team Manager and fellow Executive Committee Member Andy Steel added: “The aim of the initiative is to give people suffering from mental health a place they can come and play football and have a chat. We want it to be a place of no judgement, there’ll be no expectations to talk about their issues either. We hope that the regular game of football and seeing familiar faces will give some comfort, improve their confidence and self-esteem and have a positive impact on their life. All in all we just want to create a safe environment that people will look forward to every week.
“The idea came from speaking to people who have been going to Andy’s Man Club and seeing the positive affect it’s had. We felt as a community club we could also do something that would help the people in our town. Regular physical activity can have a positive affect on someone’s mental well being and as a football club we knew this was something we could offer and promote. We decided to have a specific session as it removes the stress of joining a team, in a competitive league and puts the focus purely on fun and enjoyment. We’ve had different people at the club, including myself, who have at one time or another been through or continue to go through a difficult time or depression and various other problems. We know first hand the ability football has in helping to cope and get better, so doing something that opens it up to more people and in a relaxed and comfortable setting was an easy decision.”
Details of how you can get involved with our MHF campaign will be announced soon, please keep checking our website and official social media pages.