Players from the award-winning SAINTS (Saints Academy - Inclusion Through Sport) Project’s Mental Wellbeing football coaching programme take part in their annual fixture with Saints Youth Team players at McDiarmid Park on Thursday 12 September.
The teams will use the game as an opportunity to raise awareness of two national campaigns which tackle stigma and discrimination and with whom the SPFL club work closely - ‘see me’ the national campaign for challenging stigma in mental health and the Show Racism the Red Card campaign. The teams will wear both campaigns’ t-shirts in the fixture.
The SAINTS Project aims to offer sporting opportunities for those who may otherwise face barriers in accessing them including adults with experience of mental ill-health. The scheme recently received two ‘Securing the Future’ Awards from Perth & Kinross Council for its successful work with different groups.
The SAINTS Mental Wellbeing football squad have been gearing up for the game with regular coaching from members of the Saints Community Coaching staff including ex-Saints star Danny Griffin.
Councillor Dave Doogan, Housing & Health Convenor, said: “Anyone who watched a recent BBC3 documentary on the subject will have seen the positive impact that football can play in the lives of adults with experience of mental ill-health. Perth & Kinross Council are aware that the SAINTS Project has been achieving similar positive results locally.
"However, people will still experience stigma and discrimination for a variety of reasons. I am delighted that this fixture continues to take place each year to raise awareness and highlight that these attitudes need to be challenged. I wish both teams well.”