The Co Antrim Football Club has partnered with Newtownabbey students to support their mental health after the pandemic.
North Regional College Newtownab Campus has teamed up with Greenland Football Club to develop a ten-week health and fitness program that promotes mental health for students.
The pilot will be working with students starting in February at the College Connect program at the Newtownaby and Blimina campuses.
Childcare teacher Katrina McCalleon said: “The past two years have been difficult for all students, especially those who need more learning and are experiencing changes in their routines.
“When students took classes online, many students experienced social isolation. Lack of social interaction had a negative impact on students’ psychological health.
We’ve seen a drop in student and class attendance. We tried to think outside the box to implement different ways to encourage students to participate.”
Katrina was previously involved in Soccer Brains, an initiative with Crusaders Football Club designed to encourage students to acquire new skills and qualifications in a different and fun way.
Inspired by the success of this project, he reached out to Lawrence Gilloway, Greenland Football Club’s Communication Coordinator, to see if the club could help in any way.
In a speech after the first session, teenager Carrick Sol Davidson, who attends college on the Newton College campus, said he enjoyed taking a break from his regular routine.
“This is an opportunity to try something new and meet new people and so far so good,” he added.
Cameron Fitzpatrick of Antrim, who goes to college in Balimina, commented, “I’ve never tried yoga, I enjoyed our introductory session, so I’ll be back next week.”
Lawrence Gilloway, who in addition to his role as a community relations coordinator is an experienced youth worker, said sessions will be tailored to students’ needs and abilities.
“Greenland’s coaches have a great deal of experience working with young people and are committed to respecting the ethics of the club to give them back to the local community,” Lawrence explained.
“As we get into the program and get to know the students, we will better understand what is best for them and will be able to tailor the program to their needs.”
The Positive Mental Health Promotion Program will be in February with students from College Connect, a three-hour weekly program at club facilities in Greenland that includes strategies to promote and maintain positive mental health, strength, conditioning and soccer sessions.
It is proposed to expand the program to include students in child care, health and social care, and inclusive education by the end of the year.
To get the latest newsDirectly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter here.
Tim-32Brown is a distinguished writer for TodayTimesLive, known for his exceptional talent in article writing. With a keen eye for detail and a gift for storytelling, Tim crafts engaging and informative content that resonates with readers. His contributions reflect a deep-seated passion for insightful journalism and a commitment to delivering high-quality articles.