Football event tackles mental health

By on 18/08/2009 in News

From Gazza to Marcus Trescothick, the sports sector has seen a number of players experience problems with their mental health, yet the social stigma of these illnesses remains. Birmingham City Council is hosting the 2009 E.A.S.I Cup, Europe's largest sports event for people with mental health issues at Moseley RFC from 19th - 21st August, and is inviting local people to come along to show their support.

Now in its 7th year, the E.A.S.I Cup (European Association for Sport and Social Integration) is held annually in a different European country. This year, Birmingham City Council's Adults and Communities directorate has rescued the tournament after plans to stage the event in Wales fell through.

Competitor Cornell Fox, 32, from Moseley, has experienced mental illness but has since gone on to gain a number of coaching qualifications and now coaches a local amateur football team. Cornell explains:

“Events like this are important because they show people that having mental health problems need not be a barrier to playing sport, as well as how playing sport can help them to feel better about themselves”.

Organiser Alan Parker, Community Project Officer, Birmingham City Council says:

“Cornell is a great example of how with a little bit of support, people can recover from mental health problems and go on to achieve their ambitions. Sport can enable people to maintain their involvement in their local community and as a result promote social inclusion.”

Over 300 athletes from different countries throughout Europe including; Spain, Italy, Slovakia, Holland, Germany, and Austria, will compete alongside teams from cities throughout the United Kingdom. The primary sport is football, but there will also be other sports like volleyball and tennis.

ENDS

For more information please contact Hayley Meachin on 0121 303 1271/ 07833 059 347 hayley.meachin@birmingham.gov.uk

Notes to Editors

The event is free to attend and spectators are welcome.

There will also be a conference at Edgbaston Cricket Club on Thursday 20th from 7pm - 9pm for health professionals. This is an opportunity to share good practice and look at the development of a Pan - European mental health sports forum.

Sponsors of the E.A.S.I. Cup include:

• Birmingham City Council Adults and Communities
• Birmingham City Council Housing and Constituencies
• Birmingham City Council Regional European and International Division
• Service Birmingham
• Belief, Excellence, Success and Trust (BEST)
• Moseley Rugby Club
• Birmingham Convention Bureau
• BDG Manufacturing Ltd
• The Business Gift Company
• Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
• Oxford Coasters
• Commonwealth Bank of Australia
• Edgbaston Cricket Ground
• Willett Banqueting Service

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