Officials from City of Liverpool FC welcomed representatives from the charity State of Mind Sport to the game against Eccleshall on Wednesday night, for a fundraising event.
State of Mind Sport promote positive mental health among sportsmen and women, fans and wider communities, and ultimately aim to prevent suicide. They raise awareness of issues surrounding mental health and wellbeing.
The fundraiser was arranged by the club’s Executive Director Gary Johansen and Partisan supporter Mike Caulfield, who is associated with the organisation and an Advanced Nurse Practitioner for Acute Care (West), after a feature on the organisation on the club’s official podcast.
Together they were joined by Dr Phil Cooper, State of Mind Co-founder, to discuss and promote their organisation, their aims and how they can help and assist those who may struggle in this area, predominantly men, on the official Podcast, The COLcast last week, to create awareness of the fundraising event.
They discussed the impact mental fitness can have on improving sporting performance, and how suicide is the biggest killer of males under 50.
Football has a long and illustrious history in Liverpool, not just with its two major professional clubs, but also with its early pioneers, players, schools, football and both Saturday and Sunday amateur leagues
The Liverpool City region produces more footballers per head than any other British city. More child and youth soccer players, more amateur footballers, and that is without mentioning the veritable army of volunteers who ensure that football is available and played in the city every day of the week.
It is equally as accurate to say that football does not just exist once a week at Goodison Park or Anfield, nor is it just a televisual sports entertainment pursuit. Football in Liverpool exists on a daily basis in school playgrounds, parks, 5 a side and sports centres, on the streets, in futsal leagues, in workplaces, pubs and social clubs and every neighbourhood across the city.
Therefore, to have this brilliant opportunity to promote, offer help, guidance and sign post fans at a City of Liverpool football match was a fantastic honour.
Dr Phil Cooper spoke of the night’s fundraising event, saying, “Firstly, I must commend Mike Caulfield, Paul (Squires, COLcast host) and Gary Johansen for asking us to take part in the weekly COLcast last Friday where all things football, men’s health and sport were discussed openly.
“This allowed State of Mind to get the message across for fans and players alike to think about improving their mental fitness, to improve their performance in sport and also in life in general. The Chairman of the club, Paul Manning, also made the effort to come and personally welcome us to the club, and that was a great touch and really appreciated”
“The reception at the game from fans who welcomed us to the friendly club house, who took mental fitness cards and stress balls was immense. We truly felt a part of the club for the evening and for that we will forever be COLFC followers.
“The community feel within the club was typified by the collections for the local food bank by the City of Liverpool supporters, and they also donated generously to our bucket collection and in doing so, they helped to support our work in sports clubs, schools, colleges, universities and workplaces to improve mental fitness and prevent suicide”
“COLFC are an absolute credit to the league and their fans were superb! We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to be at the game this evening and promote our work, and being given this opportunity may have enabled one person to get help and support that they ordinarily may never have got, and therefore in doing so, maybe saved a life.”
Former top rugby league player and World Club Final and Grand Final winning coach Phil Veivers was present to help conversations about how positive thinking is vital for athletes in any sport.
For more information about the work done by State of Mind Sport, check out their website on www.stateofmindsport.org