Over 215 for Free Mental Health Awareness Training

In April 2020, the organisers of the UK’s largest mass-participation sports events came together to create The 2.6 Challenge to raise vital funds to help support the UK charity sector, and the Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership (HSP) were excited to be involved.

Using their role as the East of England Mind Regional Network Hub lead, the Partnership was able to support two fantastic causes through this initiative – the Herts Disability Sports Foundation and the national #21by21 campaign which is being co-ordinated by the Sport for Development Coalition.

The overall aim of the #21by21 campaign is to provide 21, 000 community sport coaches and volunteers with mental health awareness training by 2021, and HSP – the Active Partnership for Hertfordshire, which is funded and supported by Sport England –  are delighted to have been able to support this by linking with the 2.6 theme and offering 260 free places on the Mind Mental Health Awareness in Sport and Physical Activity course.

In launching HSP’s free mental health training opportunity, Partnership Director John O’Callaghan said:

Those involved in organising and delivering our community sports programmes will come across a range of mental health issues being experienced by participants, club members, players, coaches, volunteers and officials, as and when we come through the current crisis, and community sporting programmes return to near normal.

“In preparation for this, we are seeking to embed greater awareness of mental health issues across the sport and physical activity sector, amongst both the paid and volunteer workforce and we believe that this course goes some way to achieving that.

“As such, I am delighted with the way the wider sector has embraced this initiative.”

In addition, HSP pledged to donate £10 for every completed course to the Herts Disability Sports Foundation, a local charity which promotes the development of disability sport across the county.

On learning about HSP’s donation, Ros Cramp, the County Disability Sports Officer, said:

We are delighted to be able to support a great campaign, and it was a massive boost to find out about the very kind donation. With the support of the Herts Sports Partnership we have already reached over 300 people with our online sessions, and the number is going up every day.  The Herts Disability Sports Foundation team have all benefited from the course, which has made us think about how people are now, but also how we need to support people coming back out to sessions in the future.”

HSP are committed to increase mental health awareness in sport and physical activity and believe all community sports coaches and volunteers should be trained in mental health awareness. In addition to this current CPD offer, the Partnership are busy planning the East of England Mental Health Conference for Sport and Physical Activity on 17 September 2020.

For more information about the Herts Disability Sports Foundation please click here and for more information about the East of England Mind Regional Network hub please email Alicja Polak at a.polak@herts.ac.uk