SECOND YEAR PSYCHOLOGY STUDENT, LAURA, TELLS US A BIT MORE ABOUT THE LOCAL CHARITY ‘SPORT IN MIND’ AND THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT THEY OFFER…
My name is Laura, and as part of my year 2 placement, I volunteer for a mental health charity called Sport in Mind.
Sport in Mind aims to use sport and physical activity to help aid the recovery of people experiencing a wide range of mental health problems. The sessions intend to promote positive mental wellbeing, improve physical health, and combat social isolation. Sport in Mind’s activities are open to anyone over the age of 18 years, experiencing mental health problems. All our groups are relaxed drop-in sessions, where you can take part for as little or as long as you like. The charity provides a weekly timetable of sport and physical activity sessions across Berkshire, offering over 18 different sports, which include: badminton, football, yoga, and most recently the addition of indoor tennis, located at the University of Reading’s new tennis dome.
I initially decided to get involved in the charity as part of my placement, where we are required to spend 80 hours in a psychology-related field of our choice. I met Phil, the volunteer coordinator, at a placement fair on campus, and we instantly started chatting about how important it is to promote positive mental wellbeing, with sport being a great way of achieving this. Even though I discovered the charity through a compulsory placement I am so glad that I did, as I not only get to spend time chatting with people about mental health (a topic I am heavily interested in), but I also get the opportunity to meet new people and access the amazing new tennis facilities.
The sports sessions provided by Sport in Mind are so relaxed and flexible and the volunteers that run the sessions are extremely welcoming to people of all abilities. The new tennis sessions at the dome are a great opportunity to use sport to improve mental wellbeing, as well as brushing up on your tennis skills. A coach is there every week to lead a fun session and offers guidance to those that would like it.
UoR students should come along as the sessions are enjoyable to participate in, convenient as they are located at the Sports Park, and most importantly FREE (essential when being a student). It also gives you the opportunity to take advantage of the amazing new tennis facilities, within a relaxed and friendly environment. The flexibility of these sessions means that you can come as often as you like, without any commitment.
For anyone interested in coming along, the sessions run from 2-4pm, every Thursday. Why not take advantage of this great opportunity to meet other people, whilst taking part in something you enjoy and revel in the new tennis facilities?