Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Maintaining training with university is all about finding a balance between the two

Tom has a history of competitive sport, and is now studying sport at Edge Hill University, and volunteering on a schools mental health & sport project called Tackling the Blues.

- Tom, Edge Hill University

Tom has a history of competitive sport, and is now studying sport at Edge Hill University, and volunteering on a schools mental health & sport project called Tackling the Blues.

I started athletics aged 13 and quickly progressed in the sport. At 16 i was invited to take part in different talent identification schemes in north-west England and also in Scotland (my dad is Scottish).

I was competing against people older than me, competing in the senior men age group. I finished 4th in the u23 national champs two years in a row and was asked to compete for Scotland's under 23 team. I was also offered a lane in an event called the Celtic games and invited to the world championship trials twice, and Olympic trials as well.

"Before the race, sort of, pulling on my vest and just feeling like overwhelming pride and it just felt like a really good fit"

I think that sport really helped me as it gave me something to focus on. If there was a bad race or a hard week of training it taught me to learn from these, not dwell on them, and focus on future goals which supported my mental health.


"I think that sport for me, helps my mental health because ti always gives me something to focus on"

Also after enrolling at university, I started to volunteer on the sport-based mental health programme, Tackling the Blues, which really opened my eyes to the benefits sport can have on mental health. Before coming to university I would say that I was uneducated about mental health, but working on Tackling the Blues has really helped me to learn about it, and question my experiences of sport, and the links to my mental health.

Tom's story is one of a series of Active Mental Health stories, collected by Student Minds for University Mental Health Day 2017. To find watch or read more, visit our Active Mental Health stories page!


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