Supporting mental health through football
Albion in the Community’s wellbeing football sessions have helped David overcome many difficulties and now he is giving back as a community coach.
David has always had a huge passion for football, but with autism and a history of anxiety and depression, his life has not been easy. David’s love for the sport attracted him to our disability football sessions, where he became a regular at the Worthing inclusive football session and a new wellbeing football session.
As David’s involvement grew, he went on to represent the charity in the Sussex Disability League and at a dozen mental health football tournaments over two years.
“Being autistic brings its daily challenges and difficulties but thanks to the experiences and opportunities with AITC, my autism doesn’t hold me back in the way that it used to,” he reflected. David always hoped to take the step into coaching and AITC was able to support him with opportunities and helped to secure a place on the FA Level one Football Coaching qualification in 2015.
A year later, David joined our coaching team, which was his first paid employment in many years. In this role, he has regularly coached a range of disability football sessions, managed teams in the Sussex Disability Football League and had an impact on the very sessions he used to attend.
Since then, David’s completed his FA Level Two in Football Coaching and now leads the Worthing mental wellbeing football project, where he helps others in similar situations to his own previous experiences.
In what has been an incredible journey, David credits AITC for its support and encouragement. “For me, AITC has changed my life for the better,” he said. “From providing me with an environment that helped me overcome many of the difficulties I had, I now have more confidence in myself, have better social skills and have been in a job for the longest period of my life.”
If you would like to find out more about our wellbeing football sessions, click here.