YST joins #21by21 campaign

The campaign, led by the Sport for Development Coalition and key partners, is aimed at encouraging 21,000 sports coaches and volunteers to become trained in mental health awareness by the year 2021.

The Youth Sport Trust join 10 other organisations that have already signed up, including Mind, StreetGames, Sport Wales, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Training in Mind, West Midlands Combined Authority, Mental Health First Aid England, York St John University and Edge Hill University.

Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said:

We are proud to join the #21by21 campaign to work alongside some fantastic organisations. The declining mental health of young people is one of the biggest issues to affect this generation and the reason why we felt it was vital to support this initiative. PE and sport have a unique role to play in helping to build resilience and improve mental health in young people, which will be crucial to this campaign.

As a charity with almost 25 years of insight and research working with schools, we have developed programmes and training which use PE and sport to support and improve young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Through this campaign we will bring this experience to support a growing workforce of PE and sport professionals and leaders.

The campaign's target is to ensure sports coaches and volunteers have the three core skills needed to protect the people they work with: first aid, safeguarding and mental health awareness.

Coalition manager Sarah Mortiboys said:

We are delighted that Youth Sport Trust have joined the #21by21 campaign. We strongly believe that mental health awareness should be recognised as a core competency, alongside physical first aid and safeguarding, for coaches and volunteers in sport and physical activity, and look forward to supporting all of the organisations committed to achieving this important target by 2021.

If you agree that mental health is just as important as physical health, and that sport and physical activity have a role to play in supporting it, please join this campaign.

ConnectSport has developed, and is managing a web portal to support the campaign, which can be accessed at www.21by21.info.

The portal shares news on sport and mental health from across the sector, and features a running total of sign-ups to the #21by21 campaign. It also showcases a number of providers for mental health awareness training schemes, so organisations can upskill their coaches and volunteers.

For more information, contact hello@connectsport.co.uk.

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