Colin Bland, Chief Executive Officer of Sporting Chance sees huge potential in working with the Racing League to strengthen the connections between the sportspeople’s charity and racing.
Sporting Chance was founded in 2000 and was the brainchild of Tony Adams MBE, the then England and Arsenal football captain. Today, we are the world’s largest provider of mental health treatment and education working exclusively with current or former professional sportspeople.
We were founded, initially as a residential treatment clinic for sportspeople with addictive disorders, as a result of the mental health problems Tony himself had experienced in his early career through his battle with alcoholism. He also had problems in trying to access meaningful support as a professional sportsperson.
Services used across many sports
Alongside running the only residential addiction clinic in the world exclusively treating professional sportspeople, the charity has grown to offer three further areas of service delivery: mental health and emotional wellbeing education; a national network of counsellors, therapists and psychiatrists for sportspeople to access talking therapies, and consultancy on mental health in sport.
Sporting Chance has 20 stakeholders across several professional sports, including football, rugby league, rugby union, cricket, tennis and horseracing.
We have worked with the Professional Jockeys Association for three years and also the British Horseracing Authority and the Injured Jockeys Fund. Through these partnerships we have been able to provide support through our treatment services to over 75 jockeys. We also provide mental health education to more than 100 jockeys each year through seminars and workshops at the British Racing School in Newmarket and National Horse Racing College in Doncaster.
New venture offers unique partnership
Being one of the two official charities of the Racing League is an important partnership for us and our Sporting Chance Benevolent Fund, which enables us to offer support to current and retired athletes outside of stakeholder partnerships. The Sporting Chance logo will be visible on all Racing League jockey shirts throughout the series, as well as that of Racing to School.
I am delighted with this collaboration and I’m confident that it will shine a light on the good work being done in the mental health space within the sport. The partnership with Racing League provides a considerable platform to engage sportspeople and the general public in discussions about mental health through showcasing human stories in a sporting context.
It is our vision to achieve parity between physical health and mental health in sport. This partnership is a positive step on that journey.