A NEW mental health awareness course has been launched offering London boxing clubs the opportunity to improve their understanding of mental health-related issues.
London Irish waste management firm Powerday hosted the first Sam’s Listening Mental Health First Aid training course earlier this month at their head office in Willesden, North London.
Run in partnership with London Boxing, the new course was funded by one of Powerday’s clients, Madigan Gill.
The mental health awareness initiative is designed to help London-based boxing clubs improve their understanding of the pressures and signs of mental health-related issues.
Following the death of 26-year-old amateur boxer and coach Sam Bezzina in 2020, the Sam’s Listening helpline was founded in 2021 by The Powerday Foundation, London Boxing and icap to support those requiring specialist assistance or simply a sympathetic ear to help them through challenging phases of their life.
The new course now extends the Sam’s Listening offering further to provide real time training for those involved in the boxing community.
Its first session saw it train 11 volunteers from nine London Boxing Clubs how to recognise concerns and provide the best care and attention to their participants and members.
“This training initiative was introduced to support the Sam’s Listening campaign as a preventative approach and to remove the stigma of mental health within the sport,” a Powerday spokesperson explained.
Representatives from Royal Resistance, Islington, Aberfeldy, Dagenham, Dale Youth, Haringey, Metrobox, Fairburn and Hawley ABC were among those to attend the first event.
Volunteer Dan O’Sullivan from Dagenham, and Club Support Officer for England Boxing, attended the session.
He said: “The Mental Health course was excellent. It was very well presented in a clear and enjoyable way. It gave me a much better understanding of how mental health and well-being issues can affect the lives of our members, and of the different types of mental health conditions/illnesses.
“I feel much better equipped to notice the signs and symptoms of these issues and feel confident that I would now respond in the right way.”
Tony Ball, Managing Director, MadiganGill Logistics, commented: “With so much stigma surrounding mental health, it can be so hard for people to acknowledge they even have a problem.
"In construction, two workers take their own life every single day.
"We are so pleased to be supporting Sam’s Listening and Powerday’s Mental Health First Aid Course initiative, especially as Powerday are one of our key supply chain partners.”
Tara Crossan, Head of Marketing & Communications at Powerday, added: “We believe passionately in the power of sport to improve mental health and wellbeing and foster stronger communities. The Sam’s Listening training course was very well attended, and we hope it will be the first one of many. Enabling volunteers from the Boxing Clubs to recognise the signs of mental health problems with the people they train on a regular basis will hopefully help many people who may not necessarily know who to talk to in the first instance.”
Free for participating clubs in the capital to attend, the training was delivered by Elite Force Safety who offered its expertise and experience in providing quality Mental Health support and care for their members.
There are further courses due to take place throughout 2023.