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AITC WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY TOURNAMENT

10 October 2014


Albion in the Community (AITC) marked World Mental Health Day by holding a football tournament at Brighton & Hove Albion's American Express Elite Football Performance Centre on Friday.
 
16 teams, including Arsenal, QPR, Portsmouth, Southampton and Charlton, took part in the first-ever major community event held at the club’s new training facility.
 
The mental wellbeing tournament was held to provide competitive opportunities for players involved in AITC's mental wellbeing football sessions and those from other teams.
 
Danny Mack, who represented Albion in the six-a-side tournament, told seagulls.co.uk, "It has been really enjoyable and we had some great games. The tournament has brought people together all for a common cause and at the same time we're having a lot of fun.
 
"An event like this is really, really important in raising the awareness of our fight against stigma."

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Ex-pros such as former Charlton keeper Bob Bolder and ex-Albion captain Danny Cullip were in attendance at the tournament, lending support for their respective squads, with Cullip even assisting in coaching the Albion squad.
 
Southampton player Aaron Ian McCabe said, "It was brilliant to play here at this brand new training facility. It's a brilliant cause, and one we work closely with at 'Saints 4 Sport' (Southampton FC’s community scheme).
 
"Having been in prison after problems with violence, alcoholism and homelessness myself, the majority of people are touched by mental illness in some form, so days like today are great to raise awareness."
 
The tournament was organised by AITC wellbeing coach, Paul Brackley, who runs sessions that aim to use football to help people overcome their own mental health issues and also challenge the stigma surrounding them.
 
"Events like this are so important to AITC, in letting more people know of the great work we do across Sussex, but also raising our status in the national game," he explained.
 
"We're hoping to create a representative squad that could compete in tournaments like we've held today, getting out there on more of a national scale and competing on a bigger basis."
 
Portsmouth's squad were the eventual winners of the tournament, beating an Albion team in the final.
 
For more information on AITC's mental wellbeing service, visit www.albioninthecommunity.org.uk/health/mental-health, or email Paul.Brackley@albioninthecommunity.org.uk.



UPCOMING HOME FIXTURES

ALBION V MIDDLESBROUGH

SATURDAY 18TH OCTOber, KICK-OFF 3PM


ALBION V ROTHERHAM

SATURDAY 25th OCTOBER, KICK-OFF 3PM



Albion v WIGAN

tuESDAY 4TH NOVEMber, kick-off 7:45pm




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