Using the power of sport to support men's mental health

Wed, 04 Dec, 2019

One of the key pillars in Kindred’s sustainability framework is to equip the communities in which we operate with knowledge and resources to build a better future. This year, Kindred has invested in a number of projects using sports sponsorships to make a difference in local communities. Now Kindred has commissioned a research report looking into men’s mental health and the potential for sports to play a part in tackling issues facing men and their mental health.

Contributing to our communities

Kindred believes in being an active participant in our local communities and we are committed to engage with our local communities through our sport sponsorships. In summer 2019, we launched a new model of football club sponsorship to continue to equip our communities with knowledge and resources. In this new model our brands invest in the local community as well as the club. We know that football clubs – and other sport clubs – have a unique link to their local community and an ability to leverage the power of sport to improve lives. An example of this is Team Talk, a programme run by Derby County Community Trust which our brand 32red invest in. This programme utilise the power of football and people’s love for their football club, to tackle mild mental health problems by allowing men to meet on their own terms using the football club’s brand to engage and offers a secure and friendly space to socialise and talk openly. You can read more about this programme here.

Tackling the stigma

To gain more insights into the area of men’s mental health, Kindred has commissioned a research report which was released this week. The report, ‘Tackling The Stigma - using the power of sport to support men’s mental health.pdf', focus on barriers that exist in tackling mental health problems among working class men in the UK and the potential solutions to help tackle those problems.

The report highlights that men are reluctant to access mental health services because of perceived stigma and the notion that asking for help is ‘unmanly’, and shows that a new way forward exists using the power of sport and football. Three in five (61%) working class men identify as fans of specific sports teams, compared to 49% of everyone else. And 40% of working-class men are football fans of a specific team and consider their team to be important in their lives, compared to just 29% of everyone else. By utilising this passion and interest through schemes like the Team Talk programme in Derby there are real signs of a potential solution. The report also reveals the initial results of the Team Talk programme, with 74% of participants showing a positive increase in their mental health, 74% increasing their physical activity levels, and 85% showing a positive increase in general well-being. 

Leveraging the connection between sponsors, clubs and communities

We believe that sporting sponsors have not yet seized the opportunities available to leverage the connection that sponsors, clubs and communities have.

 “There are clear signs that using sport and football can act as an effective way to engage working class men and address mild mental health issues. Sponsors and clubs are in a unique position to reach working class men - who are more likely to be football fans - using the power of football.” says Neil Banbury, UK General Manager at Kindred Group and continues; “Businesses with sustainability at their heart have an important role to play in that, which is why we invested in Derby County’s Team Talk scheme. We support the football industry through our sponsorship, and we are clear in our continued ambition to make sponsorship truly benefit the whole community of a football club – tackling important issues like men’s mental health in an effective way.”

With the solid results from this report and from the Team Talk programme, we will continue to seek opportunities where we can help create this connection and engage in the communities where we operate.



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