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Switch the Play Foundation and DOCIAsport work closely together to promote positive mental wellbeing and address the wellbeing challenges that transition can often lead to. Further, the partnership allows both StP and DOCIAsport to increase the reach, impact and influence of our respective work in this area.

The facts

Rob Young MBE, co-founder at the Switch the Play Foundation, says: “Many athletes moving from a life inside of sport to a life outside of sport suffer mental health problems. Earlier this year the Professional Players Federation (PPF) released results of a survey completed by 800 ex-players which showed more than half of former professional sportspeople have concerns about their mental wellbeing. This is simply not an acceptable figure and is one which we believe could be dramatically reduced through better support and education specifically designed to help athletes prepare for transition.”

DOCIAsport is an organisation driven by first-hand experience of supporting athletes experiencing mental health issues. Ian Braid, CEO at DOCIAsport, adds: “This is a partnership which makes total sense. The framework was set by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson who specifically included mental health in her review of Duty of Care in sport for the government in her report (published in 2017). We need to look after our athletes, as well as those that look after them, and this is best achieved by collaborations such as this relationship between DOCIAsport and Switch The Play. We believe working together will mean we lead in keeping mental health high on sport’s agenda and through positive interventions we can help promote good wellbeing, minimise poor mental health and help others recover quicker in what is often a challenging environment.”

Expertise and resources

The partnership sees both parties sharing expertise and resources in order to strengthen the support available to athletes as they prepare for a successful future either inside or outside of sport. As a result, the partnership will raise awareness of mental health issues surrounding athlete transition and promote support solutions. Further, we will be helping individual athletes to better equip themselves for their current day to day challenges and the future. We look forward to providing advice, support and guidance to organisations and individuals keen to fulfil their duty of care.