Stranraer sports volunteer shows how sport can help make you feel better

Connor Pomroy Health and Wellbeing ambassador Stranraer
Connor Pomroy Health and Wellbeing ambassador Stranraer

A sport volunteer from Stranraer led a basketball tournament at Oriam, Heriot Watt University, to show how sport can help raise awareness around mental health issues in young people.

Connor Pomroy makes up part of a 20-strong group as part of a new initiative led by Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) and the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

Connor helped to plan and deliver a mental health and wellbeing themed basketball tournament on April 7 which saw over 250 youngsters from Shell Twilight Basketball attend.

As well as taking part in games throughout the day, the youngsters had the opportunity to talk about mental health and wellbeing issues and how to cope with stress and pressure.

Connor is delighted to be involved in the group, he said: “I wanted to be a wellbeing ambassador to raise awareness of the various mental health and wellbeing issues people in my community struggle with.

“Sport and physical activity can make significant changes in people’s mental health and wellbeing.

“It can help to manage stress and frustration and helps people to push themselves towards feeling better.”

The project has been created with £61,205 from the Changing Lives Through Sport and Physical Activity fund. The joint programme is among 17 projects to benefit from the £1m fund, delivered by the Scottish Government, sportscotland, Spirit of 2012 and The Robertson Trust with the aim of changing lives and creating a more inclusive and healthier nation.

The SSF and SAMH project will promote positive mental health for young people and address the stigma and discrimination felt by those with mental health problems.

Kirsty McNab, CEO of SSF, said: “It was an incredibly proud moment seeing hundreds of our Shell Twilight participants playing basketball and also taking part in all three mental health and wellbeing workshops at the weekend, all delivered by our newly trained wellbeing ambassadors.

“Signing up to the SAMH mental health charter for physical activity and sport was an easy decision for us at SSF because we know and see every day the power of sport to promote a positive mind and body and this amazing tournament really has embodied and been a real-life celebration of this.

Chief executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “We see time and again that sport has the power to change lives and being physically active is one of the best things we can do for our physical and mental health.”