Football is the most popular sport in the world, and it’s not just the exhilarating action of watching the professionals that make this game so widely loved; it is also the improvements it can offer in social and physical well-being.
Jumpers for Goalposts
Football is one of the most accessible sports around – you literally just need a ball to get started – and you don’t need to spend a fortune on technical equipment or access to a tailored space to play. Sports such as skiing, rowing, motor sports or cricket can often be out of reach for people on low income, but getting some friends together with a ball in a local park or community centre can be very accessible.
It is widely acknowledged by mental health professionals that exercise can support an improvement in mental health. This could mean overcoming a range of mental health issues including stress, anxiety and depression. It also encourages a healthy lifestyle and can boost confidence.
Football has also been used effectively as a positive influence in areas with issues of anti-social behaviour and high levels of at risk youths. Sport is often used as a vital part of wider development or rehabilitation programmes for all of these positive aspects.
Let’s get physical
Football is a fantastic way of getting regular exercise, whatever level or format you play. 90 minutes, 11-a-side or 60 minutes, 5-a-side on a smaller pitch will both offer a great workout. Playing weekly will see improvements in stamina, cardiovascular and strength, and adding in regular warm ups and football training drills will further enhance physical development. visit Sportplan for football training drills
All team sports are great at developing friendships with people in similar situations and with mutual interests. It also helps to overcome social exclusion and encourage diversity. Regular organised football matches offer a safe environment where people will not be at risk of judgmental attitudes or negativity.
Those at most risk of encountering exclusion such as minority groups like the BAME, LGBTQ or disability communities can find specific clubs or tournaments where they can find team mates and opponents of similar backgrounds to really boost that feeling of community. A quick online search should offer some opportunities to get involved near you!