University of Chester staff recently competed against the City of Liverpool Community FC in a Walking Football match, to raise awareness of mental health issues, and to help get rid of the stigma that surrounds it.
The match took place at the University’s Warrington Campus, with the two teams competing for the inaugural ‘Wazza Cup 2019’. Staff were joined by ex-England and Wigan Rugby League player, Danny Sculthorpe, from State of Mind charity, and Chasing the Stigma’s CEO, Jake Mills.
There were some great goals, despite the wind and rain and, at half time, the game was level with a score of three-all.
In the second half, Liverpool upped their game and played out as winners, with a final score of 7-4.
City of Liverpool Community FC Manager, Craig Robinson who scored the winner for Warrington Town in their famous FA Cup win over Exeter City in 2014, presented the ‘Wazza Cup’ to the winning team during a meal prepared by Warrington Chaplain, James Wallace.
The event was in aid of national mental health charity, Chasing the Stigma. The charity uses real life experiences to help humanise mental health and aims to make help and support as easy as possible to find.
Dean McShane, Mental Health Lecturer at the University, said: “Our aim was to promote Chasing the Stigma, and to help rid the stigma of mental illness.
“Both the University of Chester and the City of Liverpool Community FC have helped support this charity this year through various methods, and collectively are coming together to raise awareness, to normalise the conversation and to let people know that it’s ok to not be ok!”
Michael Caulfield, Welfare Officer at City of Liverpool Community FC, also played and helped organise the event.
He said: “We have had strong links, as a club, with State of Mind and Chasing the Stigma and they have supported a number of our events that we have held around positive mental health.
“Dean has also been proactive in the support of the same events, so when we had a discussion about the possibility of a game with the University and our Walking Football team, it snowballed from there and resulted in the great game that we had!
“As a club we are all about inclusivity and community, so working with organisations and individuals like Dean, State of Mind and Chasing the Stigma, enhances the club’s aims of being a positive mental health organisation.
“All the guys at City of Liverpool really enjoyed the game and it was played in a great spirit, with lots of laughs as well! Here’s to more events in the future!”
Over £300 has been raised so far for the charity and more events including ‘Walking Rugby’ are already being planned for the future. You can still donate via the JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hubofhope.