Ayrshire College mental health campaign wins SFA grassroots award

Ayrshire College mental health campaign wins SFA grassroots award

Ayrshire College has won the Best Para-Football Project Award at the South West region of the Scottish FA’s (SFA) Grassroots Awards.

The regional awards, sponsored by McDonald’s and Sunday Mail, honours people and organisations who are making a difference in their community through sport.

The college has earned the award for its #PassingPositivity project, which raised awareness of the benefits that physical activity can have on a person’s mental health.

#PassingPositivity was a project led by HND Coaching and Developing Sport students, that started as a high-profile social media campaign and concluded with a mental health conference and multi-sport event at the college’s Kilmarnock Campus.

The campaign was backed by celebrities including the likes of Outlander actor Steven Cree, WWE wrestlers Drew McIntyre and Viper, broadcasters Hayley McQueen and Jim White, former Celtic striker Chris Sutton, and the late wrestler Adrian ‘Lionheart’ McCallum, who posted short promotional videos on Twitter.

The event was held on Friday 3 May. An 18-team football tournament took place, alongside other fitness challenges and multi-sport activities. Presentations were made by former Kilmarnock footballers Kris Boyd and Andy McLaren, as well as the SFA’s Head of Community Development Paul McNeill – who fronted the SFA’s ‘Football Saved My Life’ campaign. 

In total, the event raised £1,587.53 for the Kris Boyd Charity. 

Former Kilmarnock and Scotland striker Kris Boyd has said of the project:
“It is great that the students and the college are being recognised for the work that they have done in terms of highlighting this cause, and bringing together so many different support groups to work collectively to try and address this issue. 

“The social media campaign was a phenomenal success and is something that will continue to make a difference to so many. The message of #PassingPositivity is now 'out there' and will continue to grow, and will continue to make a difference to those who find themselves in difficult circumstances and experiencing negative thoughts.”

John McTaggart, Curriculum Manager for Sport & Fitness at Ayrshire College, said: “We are delighted to receive this award. It is a testament to the commitment of our staff, students and community partners who strive every day to make a positive difference in our community.”

11 September 2019

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