Minds United FC are a well-established football club in West London who specialise in using football as a tool to provide mental health support. The next step for this rapidly growing club, who also happen to be run by volunteers and coaches who have lived experience of poor mental health, is to expand even further, targeting a growth into the women’s game through their already impressive football offering.
Talking to Middlesex FA’s Inclusion Development Officer, Lauren Mawdsley, Head Coach, Tarik Kaidi discussed the clubs growth in the female game and their first experience of playing as a team.
Tarik said, “In one season we have grown the game as we told football foundation we would and have exceeded our expectations.”
“We planned on creating a new female team and a new male team but have created two male teams and are working towards having 2 female teams too.”
“We launched our female only mental health sessions last Thursday 4-6pm at Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance with a qualified female coach. In the last week two of our females have completed the Welfare Officer workshop and have completed the fa laws of the game course. They will be attending the new refereeing course as well and also first aid courses.”
“We aim to grow the game and have a massive impact on our community.”
“On Saturday the female team had their first friendly against Southwark Disability Stars and it was a great game played in great spirit.”
“It was a tight game with Ursula Santos scoring a hattrick with 2 of the goals coming in the last 5 minutes of the 40 minute match.”
“We have a big ethos of inclusion, diversity and equality, we are really happy that we are getting Muslim females attending our sessions too.
Middlesex FA’s Inclusion Development Officer, Lauren Mawdsley said: “It’s great to see clubs like Minds United using the power of football to benefit those in their community, especially those who may have poor mental health and need this sporting release to help them.”
“It is always amazing to see just how many players they manage to bring to our North West London Mental Health League each month, the numbers seem to grow every time we see them, but that can only be for the betterment of the club who continue to go from strength to strength, the introduction of their women’s provision is a crucial next step for the club and mental health football in Middlesex.”
Minds United Women's team came together at the Middlesex FA North West London Mental Health League