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Mental Health in Sport and Physical Activity Conference

Bringing together in-person and virtual delegates from across the sport and health sectors, our Conference showcased new research, learnings and good practice from the world of both sport and mental health to celebrate the positive impact made over the past 6 years.

Key themes from guest speakers included how the sport and physical activity sector can empower more people to be physically active as a way to support their mental health and how the sector can address the current mental health crisis helping people to recover and stay well.

First Innings

  • Welcome from Mind - Karen Mellanby (Director of Networks & Communities, Mind).
  • Welcome from Sport England: Uniting the Movement and mental health - Mike Diaper (Executive Director of Children and Young People, Tackling Inactivity, Sport England).
  • Keynote on Physical activity and mental health - Nigel Huddleston MP (Minister for Sport and Tourism, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport).
  • Mobilising sports system and structures: Evaluation of Mind’s Sector Support Programme and recommendations - Dr Florence Kinnafick (Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Loughborough University).
  • Expert by experience panel discussion: Moving at scale - Gary Bloom (Sports Performance Psychotherapist and TalkSPORT host); Clarke Carlisle (Former PFA Chairman, professional footballer, and Mind Ambassador); Andrea Corbett (Coach, Personal Trainer and British Champion Bodybuilder).

Second Innings

  • Spotlight: Being fearless in the fight for mental health. EFL and Mind’s game changing ‘On Your Side’ partnership - Trevor Birch (Chief Executive, English Football League).
  • Spotlight: Using research to Uplift the Nation - Caroline Fisher (Communications Director, ASICS) & Dr Brendon Stubbs (Specialist Physical Activity & Mental Health Researcher).
  • Spotlight: Putting athlete mental health first, Mental health in elite sport - Sam Cumming (Head of Mental Health, English Institute of Sport).
  • Speaker Q&A - Mike Diaper, Flo Kinnafick, Sam Cumming

Third Innings

  • Spotlight: In conversation… how mental health champions are creating a movement for change in sport - Liz Purbrick (Inclusion Manager, England Athletics); Richard Glynn-Jones (National Referee Manager, The FA); Kirstie Hickson (Policy and Projects Officer, AoC Sport).
  • Spotlight: Changing lives through physical activity. Delivering programmes to support mental health outcomes - Dave Arnold (Get Set to Go Co-ordinator for Warwickshire, Springfield Mind) & Jess Thawley (Get Set to Go Co-ordinator & Breathing Space Practitioner, Springfield Mind).
  • Spotlight: Panel discussion...it starts by looking after the people, looking after the people. Workplace wellbeing in the sport and physical activity sector - Jess Cook (National Partnerships Advisor, Activity Alliance) & Sam Cumming (Head of Mental Health, English Institute of Sport).

Fourth Innings

  • The long game: embedding mental health across systems and cultures - Mike Diaper ( Executive Director of Children and Young People, Tackling Inactivity, Sport England); Ollie Dudfield (Executive Director, Sport for Development Coalition); Chris Jones (CEO, England Athletics).
  • Closing remarks - Karen Mellanby (Director of Networks & Communities, Mind).

Make a Pledge

Our Conference called on delegates to make a pledge to turn intention into action. It may be small or big; it may be something you can work on directly, or require your senior management team to support. If you have been inspired and would like to make a pledge, please email [email protected]

We'll send you resources to support you to transform the pledge into practical actions as well as checking-in after 3 months to see if we can provide any further support to help you fulfil your commitment.

Quotes from our Conference

"Powerful, a 'must' attend event on sport and mental health."

"Informative, forward thinking and inspiring, someone has to effect change - why not us?"

"Mind are so open to learning and understanding. I feel confident about the lasting impact they can have on society."

"It was great to see a collective of individuals, organisations and services dedicated to improving how the structure of sport and physical activity can meet the needs and approaches needed by individuals, and to consider the general and specialist mental health support needed."

Other ways to get involved

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