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The Ball Is in Your Court – You can make a difference

You can make a difference

Just last week in the UK over 15.8million people would have participated in organised sport. However, this number is still on the decline. Particularly in the poorest social groups where there has been a 2.9% decline in activity. This is more than 365,000 people each week who may need the most help, not playing sport.

The relationship between social class and mental illness stigma has received little attention in recent years. At the same time, studies that look at the relationship between socio-economic status and mental health related quality of life are on the rise.

What is Mental Health

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Tennis for free

We are a community sports charity that provide free coach led tennis sessions and free access to tennis courts in local parks around the UK. We target all members of community, especially children from low income and workless families. With over XX sites now active in the UK, we are actively fighting back to improve the relationship between socio-economic status and mental health.

Getting involved

Taking part in sport in the UK is often a costly exercise. Whilst some sports and activities you can do on your own, others require the hire of facilities, spending money on expensive equipment or paying for access to leadership. This however, can create one of the few simple barriers to sports participation. In addition, whilst local councils remain under pressure to save money on budgets, it appears as thought sport are one of the first to go.

The Ball is in Your Court

Tennis for free is all about making a difference, but it is up to you. There are numerous ways you can be involved, from making a small donation to help us remove the cost barrier, to giving up your free time as a volunteer or coach. As a business, funding TFF could provide a nice corporate social responsibility project in your local community or you could simply join in one of our sessions.

Tennis for free and mental health

The benefits of sport and physical activity on our mental health are endless: improved mood, decreased chance of depression and anxiety, and a better and more balanced lifestyle.

Improved mood–Studies show that physical activity has a positive impact on our mood. One study asked people to rate their mood after period of exercise (i.e. walking or gardening) and after inactivity (i.e. reading a book). Researchers found that people felt more awake, calmer and more content after physical activity. For more information and a link to the study, go to theMental Health Foundation website.

Reduced stress–Being regularly active is shown to have a beneficial impact on alleviating stress. It can help manage stressful lifestyles and can help us make better decisions when under pressure. Research on working adults shows that active people tend to have lower stress rates compared to those who are less active.

Better self-esteem–Physical activity has a big impact of our self-esteem – that’s how we feel about ourselves and our perceived self-worth. This is a key indicator of mental wellbeing. Those with improved self-esteem can cope better with stress and improves relationships with others.

Dementia and cognitive decline–For people who have already developed the disease, sport and activity can help delay further decline in brain function. And it’s also preventative. Studies show that those who are active are less likely to experience cognitive decline.

Depression and anxiety–Exercise has been described as a "wonder drug” in preventing and managing mental health. Many GPs now prescribe physical activity for depression, either on its own or in conjunction with other treatments. It is effective at both preventing onset of depression and in terms of managing symptoms.


Make a difference

Remember it doesn’t take much to make a real difference to a community organisation like ours. Hopefully you can see the difference we are making each and every day. Follow our Facebook and Instagram page for more regular stories about how our people are "making a difference.”

What else do you think could be done? Leave a comment below and let’s give each other suggestions on how to help

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