NS News

#SPOTLIGHT | ACES Netball Club – Bounce Back to Health and Wellbeing

8th May 2019

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is described by the World Health Organisation as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. (2014)

Bounce Back to Health and Wellbeing

The discussion around the mental health benefits of sport and physical activity has been steadily growing in recent years. ACES Netball Club, in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council’s Suicide Prevention Team, run an annual netball tournament to promote positive mental health and highlight suicide prevention. We caught up with Lorna Colquhoun, BBN Facilitator for the BBN ACES to find out more about the initiative, and how it got started.

The Bounce Back to Health and Wellbeing Netball Tournament was a joint endeavour by ACES Netball Club and Lynne MacDonald, NL’s Suicide Prevention Officer. It began when Lorna spotted an advert by North Lanarkshire Leisure advertising a football tournament to promote mental health and highlight suicide prevention. She got in touch with the NLSP team to pitch the idea of a netball tournament, planned and hosted by ACES NC, to further promote mental health and wellbeing through the sport of netball. The NLSP team agreed and the event is now in its second year!

The tournament involves BBN Teams from around the local area coming together to compete, play and most importantly have fun, all under the umbrella of positive mental health promotion. The day is split into match play and mental health presentations. Mental health is positively promoted and discussed openly in an attempt to reduce the stigma around mental health and make it less of a taboo subject. By highlighting it in such a socially positive way the tournament opens up the dialogue making mental health a topic to talk and open up about.

When discussing the tournament Lorna said: “We are looking to continue this for many years to come and look to encourage as many Bounceback clubs as possible to get involved in highlighting the importance of positive mental health. Exercise sends endorphins through the body which then boosts you to feel good, playing in a team also has the same effect and you have the support of others around you also.

This positive mental health message is not only promoted through the Bounce Back to Health and Wellbeing Tournament. The entire ACES NC club uses the power of sport to raise awareness, tackle mental health stigmas and provide a supportive environment for their members own mental health and wellbeing.

As Lorna detailed, “we use the club as a platform to promote positive mental health…We talk about positive attitude throughout the full club and often play activities with the junior club to highlight positive mental attitude towards sport and friends.

ACES NC are taking a proactive approach around mental health and wellbeing, their club is a safe space to talk about mental health, and they offer sessions that support a positive ethos tailored to their junior and senior members. As Lorna herself attests; “I know that when I go to netball, either as a coach or to play Bounceback, that I will be in safe surroundings with friends and I am not judged.” For that reason, Lorna hopes to expand Bounce Back to Health and Wellbeing in the future, she hopes to run junior specific tournaments that focus on anti-bullying and promote the benefit of positive role models.

If you or your club would like to follow in Lorna and ACES footsteps you could #GetInvolved by creating your own tournament or by making mental health an open subject that can be shared at your club.

Thank you to Lorna and ACES NC for sharing their story with us! #EveryBodyForNetball 

Sometimes our thoughts and feelings can overwhelm us, if you need to talk to someone confidentially get in touch with our partners at Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87 their experienced advisors can listen and offer information and advice.

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