How sport helps with mental health problems

How sport helps with mental health problems


We have covered this topic in the past and there are a lot of stories on PledgeSports about how the sport can help people with mental problems. And there are plenty of studies that have also proven that exercise can play a deeply therapeutic role in warding off psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, stress, and sleep problems.

6 ways sports can help with mental health

But let’s look at some real scenarios.

Here’s an open and raw extract from Irish athlete Brendan Doyle and how the sport helped transform his life:

sports mental health

“For most, it reads like a terrifying crime thriller that will make your spine spin. An incident you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy, but for me, Brendan Doyle, 6 years ago, that’s exactly what happened. I suffered massive hand injuries during that incident, which still left me without function in my little finger and thumb, and a lifetime of skin grafts and corrective surgery ahead. I suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder , became an insomniac, ‘survived’ two hours of sleep a night, and did so from 2009 to 2013.

With my career abandoned, confidence and life shattered, and battling depression, I returned to the one thing I knew I could rely on in athletics.

Anyone who has participated in the game will know its value as a panacea, a way to take control of things when everything else seems to be spiraling out of control. And that’s exactly what I did, training six times per week, monitoring food intake, working with strength and conditioning coaches and a team of experts to fulfill my potential as an athlete.

Brendan gets stabbed, beat Depression, and money won’t beat him anymore. can read their full story and support them Fundraising campaign on PledgeSports HERE.

Another project creating mental health awareness on PledgeSports is the Heads Together and Row team – Alison Vennell from Bradford on Avon, Jeremy Reynolds from London, Justin Coleman from Leicester and Toby Gould from London. They are going to compete in the Talisker Atlantic Row in December, an epic journey that begins in The Canaries and ends in Antigua, about 3000 miles away. It is a journey that will take between 40 to 90 days as the crew row in pairs in two hour shifts round the clock and the mental and physical challenges will surely be a life changing experience.

head together

Everyone has experience with mental health problems and we hope to increase awareness and understanding of mental health before and during the crossing.

Alison Vanell, “Because I’m able to talk about it when I’m out with my friends, I’ve gotten through it. Although I may still have weird ‘down’ days, I’m fine. Sport Has also played a big part in that and especially rowing, which I started at university. I like to have a project or focus and that’s definitely the Atlantic Challenge. I’m not doing it because it’s the latest ‘Hard change’ is something I want to make, but because now I know I can do it.”

You can read the full story and Support the Heads Together and Row team here

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