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Friday 17 May 2019
Mental Health Awareness Week: Ahead of the Game

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week the Irish FA Foundation is highlighting its Ahead of the Game programme for football clubs. 

The initiative, launched in 2018, aims to help support clubs and volunteers when dealing with mental health issues, to challenge the stigma and promote positive mental health.

Sponsored by City Auctions, the programme is part of the UEFA Hat Trick funding for football and social responsibility and was developed in partnership with Tackling Awareness Of Mental Health Issues, Inspire and Train 2B Smart Soccer.

The Irish FA Foundation aims to deliver 36 Ahead of the Game workshops throughout Northern Ireland in 2019 and is now working in partnership with Sports Chaplaincy UK to support mental health throughout Northern Ireland.

Sports Chaplaincy UK works with sports governing bodies who recognise the need for quality pastoral and spiritual support and provide chaplaincy throughout sport. Through their partnership with the IFA, they will be providing sports chaplaincy services across the country via the 12 regional Irish FA Foundation Football Community Hubs.

Former Northern Ireland international Keith Gillespie is an ambassador for the programme and in the video above he talks about the importance of talking about mental health issues.

Upcoming courses:

20 May: Tullyglass Hotel, Ballymena (7-9pm)

3 June: Bangor Sportsplex, Bangor (7-9pm)

7 June: Centrepoint, Lurgan (7-9pm)

10 June: Mid Ulster Sports Arena (7-9pm)

28 June: Castlerock, Fermanagh (7-9pm)

29 July: Kilrea Sports Centre, Co Derry/Londonderry (7-9pm)

5 August: Valley Leisure Centre, Newtownabbey (7-9pm)

21 August: Larne FC, Larne, (7-9pm)

9 September: Valley Leisure Centre, Newtownabbey (7-9pm)

16 September: Dungannon FC, Mid Ulster, (7-9pm)

23 September: Sheksburn, Ballycastle (7-9pm)

30 September: Bangor Sportsplex, Bangor (7-9pm)

18 October: Wellington Church, Ballymena (10am-12pm)

21 October: Abbey Villa, Bangor (7-9pm)

4 November: Loughmoss, Lisburn / Castlereagh (7-9pm)

18 November: 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