The first South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust football tournament was hailed a huge success by organisers.
Eight teams, made up of staff and mental health patients from across the Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield areas took part in the tournament, which was held yesterday at Dewsbury Sports Centre.
The tournament – which was opened by the Mayor of Kirklees Jean Calvert – took place to launch the new South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust football league. The league is being based on Hackney FC – an award winning initiative by a mental health NHS trust in London that has encouraged lots of people with mental health problems to play football.
The winners of the tournament were the Asian Men’s Group Team, who beat the Access 100 Team on penalties in a nail-biting final. The Asian Men’s Group is a Trust-run group for Asian men with mental health problems, that meets at the Al-Hikmah centre, Dewsbury. The Access 100 team are from the Access sports group – a Trust-run group from Dewsbury that encourages people with mental health problems to get involved in sporting activities
One of the organisers, Aboobaker Bhana, said, "The day was a huge success and we ‘d like to thank everyone who helped to organise it and everyone who came along to take part or support on the day. Everyone really enjoyed themselves and there was some really good football played. We’d also like to thank our sponsors Redrat Computer Fairs Ltd who provided the medals and trophy and came along to show their support."
Aboobaker continues, "The idea behind the football league is to encourage people with mental health problems to become active by doing something they enjoy, and lots of our service users enjoy football.
Research has proven that exercise can have a positive effect on people’s mental health, so hopefully the football league will encourage more people to become active. To help people recover from mental illness we need to look at their overall health, both physical and mental, and the football league is a step towards this."
Speaking at the event, Younus Hussain from the winning Asian Men’s Group Team said, "It’s absolutely brilliant that we won, we had an injured player too so we won against all odds! The whole tournament has been great – I’ve really enjoyed it."