To mark Children’s Mental Health Week, AFC Bournemouth and its Community Sports Trust put on a host of sessions to help raise awareness and ensure young participants were made aware of issues in everyday society.
The club shared tips regarding social media and how best to look after children and their mental health.
The week involved a player appearance with Cherries ‘keeper, Asmir Begovic, who has over 20 years experience in the game and a wealth of knowledge to pass on. He spoke with selected students from the club’s Football Education and Female Football Education programmes.
The Bosnia international highlighted the impact abuse can have in professional sport, as well as shared tips on how he deals with it and doesn’t allow it to affect his game.
Additionally, youngsters from the Premier League Kicks and Ability Counts teams took part in a call on Time to Talk Day. They spoke with Jon Bolding, an England Powerchair player, and Jack Rutter, who was on the road to becoming a professional footballer until he was assaulted age 18 and suffered a severe brain injury.
The children listened to the stories of the duo, with Jack sharing his experiences of representing Team GB in the Paralympics before his career came to a halt and he was no longer able to compete.
The final session of the week involved academy player, Euan Pollock, who took part in a question-and-answer session with students at The Blandford School.
Those who participate in the school’s Premier League Inspires sessions, taken by our Community Sports Trust coaches, spoke to the striker and his teammates and the importance of being there for one another on and off the field.
As the week came to a close, head of community Steve Cuss was on hand to share its success.
“We were pleased to be able to highlight and support Children’s Mental Health week, along with the importance of Time to Talk Day through showcasing some of our Community initiatives and projects.
“We are grateful for the support of our guests and to be able to offer these events to so many people.”