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Ahead of the Game

Ahead of the Game is one of the Irish FA Foundation’s flagship projects, it focuses on improving mental health awareness in all football clubs across Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland has the UK’s highest suicide rate with 44% of young people reporting that they have experienced a mental health problem. 

The aim of the programme is to help support clubs and volunteers when dealing with mental health issues, challenging the stigma around mental health and promoting positive mental health.

The programme is sponsored by City Auction Group and was created in collaboration with the mental health charities TAMHI (Tackling Awareness of Mental Health Issues), Inspire and Train 2B Smart (founded by former Manchester United and Northern Ireland professional, Pat McGibbon). It is a two-hour workshop where participants are provided with educational information, a mental health toolkit and a resource folder to share within their club.

Former Northern Ireland, Manchester United and Newcastle United star Keith Gillespie is an ambassador for the programme and shares his story of gambling addiction to help raise awareness of mental health issues and let people know its good to talk about their issues, “I would like Ahead of the Game to be the start of a conversation”.

In February of this year the programme received its royal seal of approval when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge got an opportunity to hear about the impact of the programme from clubs who have attended the workshop and have gone back to promote mental health awareness throughout their club and local community.

Upcoming Courses: 

Date

Venue

Area

Time

28/06/2019

Omagh Leisure Centre

Fermanagh

7-9pm

21/08/2019

Larne FC

East Antrim

7-9pm

29/07/2019

Kilrea Sports Centre

Derry/Londonderry

7-9pm

05/08/2019

Valley Leisure Centre

Antrim

7-9pm

09/09/2019

Valley Leisure Centre

Antrim

7-9pm

16/09/2019

Dungannon FC

Mid Ulster

7-9pm

23/09/2019

Sheskburn

Ballycastle

7-9pm

30/09/2019

Bangor Sportsplex

Bangor

7-9pm

18/10/2019

Wellington Church

Ballymena

10am-12pm

21/10/2019

Abbey Villa

Bangor

7-9pm

04/11/2019

Loughmoss

Lisburn/Castlereagh

7-9pm

18/11/2019

Richhill Leisure Centre

Armagh

7-9pm

 

To book on a course or for any further details on Ahead of the Game please contact our Club and Community Development Officer Gavin Nelson at: Gavin.Nelson@IrishFA.com