On 'It's Time to Talk' day, we know that cricketers benefit hugely from getting together and the unique way our sport offers this and supports our mental well-being. So today it’s good to share some of the (many) stories where cricket has positively helped people with their mental health.
Have a read of these brilliant testimonies and thanks so much to all contributors…
Rogerstone CC Women’s Team
Claire from Rogerstone CC said: “I have been suffering with anxiety issues and am not good at mixing in and talking to people, my son joined Dynamos back last June and I was watching him play and could see this group of women playing/training for cricket.
After about 4 attempts and 4 visits to the ground's I finally plucked up the courage to go over and say hello. God that was hard, but all the ladies said hello back which put me at ease a little.
Fast forward a few months, I have joined the Rogie Rebels and played at lot of matches outdoors last year. When the ladies said about going indoors, I thought ‘Oh my god it’s going to be so hard and different to playing outdoors’.
I played 1 friendly indoor game for us and played 2 for other teams; my anxiety levels hit the roof at this point being around so many new people. I also attended all the training sessions indoors, as the group felt positive.
The Rogie Rebel ladies make me feel valued and respected and being part of this group has lowered by anxiety levels a lot since playing/joining the group. There are still a few times where my levels are risen but these are soon lowered when in this group, as they help and support each other. I would just like to thank Carmel the cricket captain. If it hadn’t been for her, I would have quit; she has been my rock and go to when feeling anxious.”
Wales Over 50s
Chair of the Wales over 50s Michael Cann is keen to share how mental wellbeing has been a vital part of the ethos of the Wales overs 50s squad in its training, competition and general commitment to players. “All of the players give back to the game in one way or other and we pride ourselves in being open to all and importantly looking out for each other’s well being. The squad are planning a Prostate Testing Campaign for mature cricketers, supporting in the setting up of new defibrillators and training as well as helping players with injuries. People in their 50s start to have lots of things changing in their lives, with families and careers so in the Wales Over 50s we do much more than just playing the game as we are supporting whole person in the wider squad.”
Listen to Ashleigh’s experience of cricket from Llandudno CC:
“8 weeks ago I joined the Llandudno cricket team. My confidence was shot and I had a rubbish start to the year to say the least. I nearly chickened out of every training session and the closer it got to our 1st match the more nervous I got and almost quit. Well yesterday I got over the fear and honestly it was on of the best days I’ve had in ages. Being part of a team of women who are the most supportive, uplifting, and fun women I’ve had the pleasure to meet has done more than I’m sure they could know. We won our 1st match, and I even caught an ‘out’ which is all I wanted to do 😊. I loved fielding it made me feel 15 again. Everyone one played amazingly, and I am proud to be part of it all. Go Llandudno.”
Carmarthen Wanderers CC - Melissa Fletcher
“Cricket has helped me cope with coming to terms with my disability. As a young female having the women’s and girls cricket pathway has really created new opportunities for me to be able to be part of a team even with a disability. It really has helped my mental health to be able to play a sport and be part of a team, regardless of my disability.”
Time to Talk day is led by Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/get-involved/time-to-talk-day-2024/. The website has all sorts of resources from social media posts to tips on how to start the conversation.
Why not arrange a time slot on this day (or soon) to meet/chat to a colleague check in on, where you can meet face to face to go for a walk or to do teams and have a cuppa.