Council Organises Good Old Fashioned Game of Footie for Men’s Health
Men across Newry teamed up for a Jumpers for Goalposts ‘kickabout’ in Jennings Park to mark Men’s Health Week 2022.
The event, which took place in June, was organised by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council in partnership with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust (SHSCT) to bring men together to enjoy some light-hearted, inclusive, non-competitive sport with the aim of encouraging them to get together and organise regular football kickabouts.
The concept, ‘Jumpers for Goalposts’ (J4G), stems from a mental health and wellbeing initiative established in 2019, which aims to help men reconnect with friends and neighbours in a safe, healthy and fun environment through organised football events. It also provides them with an opportunity to seek and offer support to each other if needed. As this concept tied in with this year’s Men’s Mental Health Week theme - 'MISSION: isPOSSIBLE' and its call to action - 'The Action Starts with You', the Council and SHSCT engaged J4G to organise their own ‘Jumpers for Goalposts’ day for the local men of Newry.
Speaking about the event, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage said, “It was great to see such a good turnout of men wanting to take part in an old fashioned, informal game of footie. It was clear that everyone enjoyed the opportunity to have a bit of fun together and appreciated the health advice they received through the psychical health checks on offer. But when it comes to men’s health – all too often men keep quiet about troublesome health problems and feelings relating to stress or anxiety for fear of losing face. According to the NHS, statistically, men visit their GP half as often as women do and men are also less likely to attend routine screening checks. It is clear that more events like this need to happen until men no longer feel any stigma in seeking help or continue to feel they have to bottle their emotions.”
30 men of all ages turned up on the day to play together in Jennings Park without pressure, competition and or judgement. Just laughs, chats, a bit of fresh air and refreshments. Players could choose to play for just a few minutes, or for an entire match.
Off the pitch, men could also avail of a number of planned activities such as physical health checks that checked blood pressure and measured BMI, amongst other things with advice to visit a GP given where necessary. Health Packs containing a reusable water bottle, protein and vitamin bar, pedometer and information specific to men’s health were also provided for everyone who took part.
If you would like more information on men’s health or are interested in hosting a similar event, please do not hesitate to contact the Council’s Health Inequalities Officer Alannah Brennan on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enquiries should be forwarded to the Press Office
Telephone: 0330 137 4006