At the best of times young people have a lot of anxiety and fears in life with school, exams, relationships, peer pressure, social media and so on. Over the past year or so the Covid virus has really increased this. No school, no meeting friends, no social life and what is important to a lot of young people, no sport.
In normal times our coaches play an important part in our young members life, apart from the obvious of assisting them in their sporting careers, they also are very conscious of their responsibilities to assist them with acquiring life skills and having fun, along with observing their mental health and any other issues.
The Covid virus has really increased the pressure on people’s mental health with young people no exception. There is only a certain amount the coaches can control. They only have two or three hours to work with the players each week, so they really needed some assistance in this area as a go to for the club and wider community.
Recently, Portlaoise AFC had a fundraiser, where we raised funds for Jigsaw and Midland Downs Syndrome. Following this, Portlaoise AFC have now joined up in partnership with Jigsaw.
This was a no brainer for Portlaoise AFC. Jigsaw understand today’s generation of teenagers and their needs. Jigsaw offer mental health support online and in person to those aged 12-25. They also offer advice to parents and coaches and have lots of useful information online that would be invaluable to any parent or coach.
The aim at Portlaoise AFC will be to have a continuous dialogue with Jigsaw and promote their work through our online social presence. Jigsaw will offer the club online workshops directed towards players, parents and coaches. Ultimately, players just need to know that there is a place where you can go and talk to someone. Someone with vast experience and who is willing to listen, no matter what the issue is.
The club really appreciate the young people in their club and aim to do their best for them, not just in football terms but assisting them to be the best person that they can be and especially being an assistance to them to deal with the pressures of modern life.
The club look forward to working with Jigsaw and will do their best to cater for the teenagers and young adults of Portlaoise AFC. Here’s hoping for a lighter, brighter future.