Each year Farnham Sports Council initiates a sporting seminar – known as Club Conversations – on a relevant topic.
Last year it was on Sustainability and Sport and this year’s theme is the important topic of Sport and Mental Health.
The session is open to everyone – club representatives and individuals – and it takes place at the Farnham town council offices in South Street on Monday (November 21) at 8pm.
David Gill, the chair of Farnham Sports Council, said: “You’ve probably heard it before but sport, exercise and appreciating our wonderful countryside can do a lot for your mental health.
“Quite simply, it’s a great form of stress relief, helps get your mind off things and, of course, it has benefits for your physical health too.
“Life has plenty of stressful situations and moments and certainly occurrences like the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost of living have placed a number of additional pressures on people’s lives – so this is a timely initiative from the sports council.
“One way of getting physically active is through club or school sport – and our local clubs and schools in Farnham offer some amazing opportunities for all ages.
“Not forgetting, of course, the important social aspect as well, because it gives you the chance to interact and have some fun with peers who share an interest in that sport too.
“Try to choose a sport or a form of exercise that you’d enjoy, ideally with friends or family, but generally you’ll find that clubs – and local health and fitness centres – in our area will make you feel welcome.
“The hardest part is simply getting started but please make sure you take part in a safe and measured way.”
The first speaker will be Sue Keogh, who is an Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends ambassador.
Sue will mainly highlight dementia awareness.
Sport has supported many people with dementia – it can in many cases help the lives of those affected by the syndrome – and the session will just touch on the topical link between sport and dementia risk.
The second speaker will be Tom Crowe, a senior sports development officer for Sport in Mind, a mental health charity which helps to support people experiencing mental health problems through sport and physical activity programmes.
The final presentation will be given jointly by Jacquie Browne from Farnham Runners and double Paralympic gold medallist Rachel Morris.
They will highlight the England Athletics benchmark initiative on the value of having mental health champions and ambassadors at club level.
The sports council secretary Sue Keogh said: “This session will be quite informal and it is open to sports clubs and the wider community – we simply want to encourage better awareness of people with mental health issues and the difference that exercise might make.
“You can just turn up for 8pm but if you’d like to email me in advance – [email protected] – that would help us to gauge in advance the numbers likely to attend.”