Home News Prince William talks about the importance of mental health as sport returns

Prince William talks about the importance of mental health as sport returns


This was a virtual meeting, featuring sporting stars such as tennis player and doubles champion, Jamie Murray, swimmer, Ellie Simmonds, Cyclist Dame Sarah Storey, Skeleton racer Lizzy Yarnold and England footballer, Alex Scott. During the Zoom call, the Duke of Cambridge said it was “vital” the wellbeing of athletes and fans is talked about. Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, also took part in the meeting alongside former Tottenham captain and England international, Ledley King.

Whilst on the call, athletes spoke out about their own personal experiences and battles.

They also mentioned how maintaining good mental health helped them be better athletes.

For those on the call, it was a prime opportunity to discuss some of the barriers that had originally prevented them from accessing the support they needed.

The cohort also discussed ways in which elite sport could help form a route in supporting the mental and physical wellness of the wider population.

William told those on the call: “Through the Heads Up campaign, the football community has come together to do its part in driving lasting change by encouraging people to open up about their mental wellbeing, at the same time as embedding a mentally healthy culture across the sport.

“I believe that there is more we can do collectively to ensure this is replicated across all of sport.”

“And that is why I am so happy to be here with you all to discuss how we can make that a reality.”

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As well as explore opportunities to use sport in promoting messages around mental health.

Mr Dowden said: “Looking after our mental health is as important as our physical health, particularly through the pandemic which has brought about additional stress and change.”

“The resumption of sport behind closed doors coincides with many people returning to work too, so it’s a good time to make sure everyone knows support is available.”

It’s not just athletes as well, 43 per cent of disabled fans say the absence of live sport during the coronavirus pandemic has had a “significant” impact on their mental health, according to a new study.

In addition, 62 percent of respondents said it would have a “considerable” effect on their wellbeing if they are unable to watch live sport next season.

Respondents to the study – carried out by disability equality and inclusion charity Level Playing Field – point to a lack of social interaction and the “distraction” sport provides.

However, 50 per cent of those asked said they had concerns about returning to watch live sport in stadia, including safety worries and concerns about communication difficulties because of masks or Perspex screens.

Up to 12 per cent of respondents said the pandemic had put them off from attending live sport ever again.

Of 570 respondents, 79 per cent are in the “high risk” category for coronavirus.


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