Sands United FC Larne football team helps men cope with the grief of losing children

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Sands United FC Larne football team helps men cope with the grief of losing children

A soccer team designed to help men grieve the loss of a child, as well as improve their mental health, has grown stronger since its inception three years ago.

Peter Gibson created Sands United FC Larne in 2019, but had to wait two years before hosting his first training session.

The Covid-19 pandemic has halted any initial progress, but Peter is now inviting new members to join and join the club.

მეტი Read more: A Lisburn man forms a soccer team to help men suffering after the loss of a child

Last week they got a brand new group and enjoyed their first photo session as a team.

Peter told Belfast Live: “I first heard about the Sands Foundation following the death of our daughter, Robbie Elizabeth, on November 21, 2014.

I founded Sands United FC Larne in June 2019 along with Facebook, before the pandemic started. It meant we weren’t able to do our first practice session until July 7 last year.

“The team is not just for the Larney guys, but from Antrim across the country. It’s not just a team, but a support network for fallen parents, uncles, siblings or grandparents.



Players practice at their own pace

“It helps us not only with fitness but also with mental health. We, as men, have a hard time understanding our feelings and being with other people who have all been affected by the loss of a child helps us understand that you are not alone in your suffering” who you were and we are all there to support in each other “.

Sands United offers parents and other deceased family members to join the love of football and find a support network where they can speak softly about their grief when they are ready.

Across the UK, there are currently 34 Sands United teams, six of them in Northern Ireland. There are Sands United teams in Lisburn, Larna, Belfast, Derry, Enniskillen and Dungano.

Peter says his club started with “small numbers,” but it wasn’t long before other guys named the team.

He added, “We had our first practice session at Larney High School. We started small, but we raised money and donated money from Spar to Viking Lodge, Larney.

“With this money we purchased and donated hugs to our community because nothing like this is available except in hospitals. A hugging bed gives families up to 72 hours to spend with their children, which they would otherwise have been impossible to do without.”

“In mid-February, we moved to the Wellington Rec Social Club training ground. We train here every Wednesday from 7pm.

“Our numbers increased and this was Wednesday when we got our first team and got the pictures like a real team.

“If anyone would like to join, they can find us on the Sands United FC Larne Facebook page or email us at [email protected].”

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Source: Belfastlive

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