The Crystal Palace Foundation firsts Mental Health Wellbeing Tournament ran in the CPFC Academy Dome on Friday 24th July. Seven teams joined us to compete in a safe, friendly and fun environment that saw some great football and gave an often overlooked alienated area of our Community an opportunity not to be missed.
Football, and other physical activities, are crucial for people who have had mental health issues, helping them keep fit and feel part of something, whilst providing a social environment with likeminded people.
Michael Harrington, the Foundations Disability Officer, a post supported by the Premier League/Professional Footballers Association, hosted the tournament with our partners Active Minds who are the go to Charity for people living in Croydon with Mental Health issues and the Surrey FA.
Teams representing a range of Mental Health Charities and Organizations from across London and Surrey were our guests. This included Status Employment, which assists people with disabilities and mental health problems in finding and retaining paid employment, a South London and Maudsley Project in Lambeth, St Mungo’s in King’s Cross who help people recover from the issues that create homelessness and to rebuild their lives, and National Mind
This broad range of service providers really highlighted the great work that is done in our local communities to allow people with mental health issues to feel part of our community and to be able to gain greater independence and direction in their lives.
The tournament was a great success, with the Brixton Pumas running out winners in the final against our very own Croydon Eagles. A special mention must go the Super Saints from St Mungo’s in Kings Cross who were voted the days Sports Team winners for the great attitude and sportsmanship they showed throughout the day.
John O’Malley, from the Surrey FA Football Development Team who was on hand to ref one of the group stages, had the following to say about the day ‘I was very impressed with the overall standard of play today. The whole tournament ran smoothly and allowed all players a great chance to come and enjoy themselves whist making new friends’
The ‘Croydon Eagles’ football team were set up as part of the partnership work between Mind Croydon the Crystal Palace FC Foundation – the charity of Premier League side Crystal Palace FC.
The team run weekly football training and physical activity sessions in the Crystal Palace FC Academy Dome at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre complex, we also play in the Surrey Community League, a league run by the Surrey FA and local charities working within the mental health community.
To discuss our Mental Health program, or any other area of our Disability work, please contact our Disability Officer Michael Harrington at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 020 8768 6052.