Why Attend A Sport in Mind Session? Our Ethos Fun, enjoyment, and meeting new people are the top reasons given by our participants, volunteers and coaches for coming to Sport in Mind sessions. Perhaps you are returning to an activity you enjoyed previously or a chance to try a new activity which could become something you really like and want to develop. Sport in Mind offer a wide range of activities to suit everyone, regardless of age, gender, mobility, ethnicity, or ability. Joining a team sport has many benefits, with mutual encouragement, recognition of improvements/achievements, comradery, good natured competition, friendships developed, chance to meet new people, learn new skills and improve play, or having a friendly non- competitive game with likeminded people. It may be an activity like gardening, that calms and inspires you, gives you a better perspective and helps you notice the natural world and seasons/ wildlife. Or yoga that helps you control your breathing, improves your balance and stretching and can become a starting point for meditation if you so wish. It may give a purpose to your week, a focus that you can look forward to and may help you develop a weekly routine. If you are struggling with difficult thoughts, sport can be a welcome distraction (you can’t think about things whilst playing table tennis!) Your First Session Turning up at a session for the first time may seem like a big hurdle but you are absolutely guaranteed a friendly and understanding reception. Once you have made it a few times, you are likely to feel a great boost to your confidence knowing you have within you, the ability to try new things. You can be yourself, everyone understands about mental health and wont judge and as you get to know people, they will offer peer support and their own perspectives. Did you know?... If you exercise regularly, you will notice how you can now exercise for longer, feel stronger and have increased stamina, which will add to your self- esteem and confidence You are likely to feel more comfortable about your body shape. You will probably experience a better sleeping pattern too. Your physical health will improve and that will be positive for your mental health too. Exercise changes the levels of chemicals in your brain, such as serotonin, endorphins and stress hormones, which improves your concentration and memory, reduces the feelings of stress and lifts your mood. Redirecting anxious energy and concentrating on the activity will reduce feelings of anxiety and it can become a new coping tool for whenever you feel anxious. Physical activity/ sport is open to everyone, many people enjoy it, there is no stigma associated with doing sport to improve your physical and mental health and no negative side effects. Why Sport in Mind? Sport in Mind, provide all the equipment, venues, no special clothes are required and most of the sessions are free or just a couple of pounds. Venues are chosen for being easy to access by both car and bus and cater for all levels of mobility. Staff and volunteers are happy to talk through the finer details of the sessions and venues, or to meet you outside and walk in with you, if that helps the first few times. Also a friend or family member is welcome to come initially if that makes it easier for you.