The players chatted to children at Springwell Park Primary School in Bootle to find out more about the sports and arts-based programme, delivered in partnership between Edge Hill University, Everton in the Community and Tate Liverpool. The programme supports children and young people who are at risk or may be experiencing problems with their mental health.
The Everton duo took part in the session which educated young people on the emotions and feelings they may experience in day-to-day life and offered their own insight into how they manage those feelings on and off the pitch.
Courtney highlighted the importance of Tackling the Blues: “These initiatives are amazing – we can come here as a good role model or positive influence to reiterate these things that they’re talking about.
“Football always has ups and downs and it’s about riding those ups and downs and talking about those things to the people around you to support you. I think you learn to deal with those things as you mature but starting that process early is a great advantage for them.”
Pupils were able to hear first-hand from the players the emotions they go through on a typical matchday, giving them a better understanding of a professional footballer’s mindset.
Taking away advice and guidance from the teachers, the children were then asked to illustrate a moment of their choice and write down the different feelings they may experience during this time.
James Ratcliffe, Tackling the Blues Coordinator, explained how beneficial the programme is to young people.
“It’s important that we provide children with a platform to describe and relate their feelings openly to people around them,” he said. “And the more examples we can provide to young people to help them speak openly about how they’re feeling, the better.
“Having the first-hand insight of professional footballers, who many can aspire to and consider as role models, to talk about the emotions they go through using football as an example, can open a whole new conversation for young people and help them acknowledge their feelings even more.”
Tackling the Blues has engaged with more than 30 local schools and continues to help pupils improve their mental health and educational wellbeing; the programme – funded by the Office for Students (OfS) and Research England with support from the Premier League Charitable Fund – was recently recognised at the Educate North Awards where it scooped the Mental Health and Wellbeing award.
May 9, 2022