A Penwortham football coach has vowed to tackle mental health and reduce the amount of people being obsessed with their phones.Advertisement
Simon Halliwell, 36, is trying to get youngsters into sport and reduce the ‘screen time’ that he thinks is linking to mental health issues.
Having been an FA-qualified footie coach for eight years, working at Sir Tom Finney Football Club, Simon is now offering a six-week ‘Just Kick It’ programme at Penwortham Lesiure Centre.
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Simon, from Penwortham, who also works full-time at HMRC, said: “There is a huge emphasis at the moment on mental health and everyday at work people are on computers, and then will immediately go on their phones at lunch and when they get home, so people are not getting the screen break that they need.
“I know of teenagers who are really nice children but when spending three hours or more on the Xbox they become aggressive.
“We are at an age now of using mobiles, tablets and social media. It’s causing a lot of problems and it’s only getting worse.
“Sport is the answer. It releases endorphins, and you feel better. That’s why I want to get people into sport and give them the screen break that they need.”
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Simon’s programme is priced at £2.50 an hour as he says it’s not about making money or getting people just into football, but it’s about promoting sport to reduce mental health.
He said: “If I can get people to try the programme, and then it points them in a different direction like running or athletics, then I’ve done my job. I’m not pricing parents out, I’m offering the sessions as low as I can. I’ve worked at other places that charge £5 per hour.
“I want to help youngsters before they get mental health issues from mobile phones and social media. If I can get them into sport early, then it will help eradicate the issues before they are triggered.”
Now in the third week of the second programme, Simon’s sessions are proving popular.
Currently they are being held on a Wedensday but this will soon be changed with people booking on for Monday sessions.
He is also offering his sessions to primary schools, with Northbrook Primary School in Leyland already snapping up his programme.
Medals and certificates are handed out during the programme, so kids can be rewarded for their sporting success.
You can follow the Just Kick It Facebook Page and book places here.
Do your children love sport? Have you been involved in any sporting activities recently? Let us know in the comments below