The Mental Health Charity Supporting Young British Athletes

Founded by 19-year-old Callum Lea, Sportingmindsuk aims to promote mental health awareness in youth representative sport

05.02.2020 | by Reve Fisher
Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash
Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash

Although mental health organisation Sportingmindsuk has been operating for less than a year, the charity has received support from thousands of people throughout the United Kingdom.

Sportingmindsuk promotes mental health awareness among young athletes, offering one-to-one psychological support to help sportspeople in the UK between the ages of 16 and 30. The organisation also hosts awareness and training sessions at sports clubs for the general public, as well as mental health first aid group training and education sessions for representative sports clubs, teams and organisations.

“My aim is for the charity to create a network and community in which representative young sports people can be open and honest about their mental health, and have a greater awareness for their peers’ mental health too,” said Sportingmindsuk founder Callum Lea, as quoted by Charity Digital News.

Lea is a 19-year-old Oxford Brookes University student and avid cricketeer. In 2018, he started to struggle with mental health issues during an intense season of sport after finishing his A-level exams. He realised that although mental health awareness had increased throughout society in general, there was still a lack of education, community and support in the sport world, especially for young athletes.

“The environment can be a tough one, filled with pressure and uncertainty,” he wrote in a Medium post. “It’s difficult enough to bear its weight without a mental health issue such as anxiety or depression, Both sport-related issues and non-sport related issues can easily creep into a young athlete’s life, damaging their overall wellbeing and potentially a future career.

“So that was the inspiration behind Sportingmindsuk, to raise awareness and provide support for positive mental health in young sportspeople.”

Since its founding, the organisation has gained a following of over 18,000 people on Instagram.

Numerous high-profile young sportspeople have stepped in to spread awareness of the organisation, including Somerset and England Under-19s cricketer Will Smeed, England and Kent cricketer Tammy Beaumont MBE and Bristol Bears rugby player Tyrese Johnson-Fisher.

Even Lea admitted that he’s “blown away” by the support Sportingmindsuk has received.

“I couldn’t have hoped for better role models to champion our cause, and to show young sportspeople the importance of not suffering in silence.”

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