A football team from Denny has taken a starring role alongside Ashley Cole in a new campaign from Carling and mental health charity the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).
Denny Warriors – a club set up to help heavier players get fitter together and be a place where players can speak openly about their struggles – appears in the first of a series of films that champions the positive role grassroots football can play in helping people to tackle everyday struggles.
The ‘More Than a Game’ campaign aims to recruit 20 clubs across the UK that embrace an open approach to mental health and wellbeing to become ‘Caring United’ clubs, providing accredited Mental Health First Aid Training to players, captains and managers.
Gary Thorn, founder of Denny Warriors, explained why he wanted the team to take part in the initiative: “Our club was formed to help heavier men get back into football, or come new to the game, and has grown to play a part in the lives of all of us and our local community. Coming together and playing football is more than a game for us, it’s about encouraging people to talk about how they’re feeling with their teammates and others around them. It’s a privilege to be part of Caring United and we urge other clubs to do the same.”
Former England star Ashley Cole is a More Than a Game ambassador. He commented: “More Than a Game has been such a brilliant project to be part of. I’ve been up and down the country meeting some inspirational people who are doing amazing things in their community. It’s been so good speaking to them, understanding their stories and seeing the amazing way they’re using football to help themselves, empower others and build better mental wellbeing in their clubs. Football has been a massive part of my life and seeing these people using their passion to make a real, life-changing difference makes me feel proud and I hope the legacy it creates with more grassroots teams signing up will really make a difference.”