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Diploma in sporting excellence

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As part of our offering during the 2023/24 season we providing the following sessions.

1. Social media and football


Delivered by Matt Himsworth and/or Leigh Nicol


Our theme for this year is on taking responsibility. The session uses our real experiences of working with Premier League and WSL clubs to discuss the common issues that come up online from Direct Messages, old social media posts and mistakes, online abuse, the mental health impact of social media and the scams that are often targeted at young people and footballers.





2. Resilience and identity 

Delivered by Leigh Nicol and/or Fraser Franks


This session comes from the personal experience of Leigh and Fraser who both played professionally in the women's and men's games. Your identity can often be defined as just a footballer, particularly in this online world, and Leigh/Fraser will talk through their own struggles and vulnerabilities and some techniques that have helped them both on and off the pitch, particularly during their tough times, as well as encouraging the girls to expand their mental horizons.


3. Mental health / addiction and social media


Delivered by Matt Himsworth and/or Leigh Nicol


This session builds more on the mental health impact of social media and phones and is highly interactive, asking the girls to share their own phone usage stats and experiences. Social media and phone addiction is having a damaging impact on all of us, particularly on our sleep, and that harm can be increased when you're a young athlete moving into the public eye and having a big reaction online, both positive and negative.


4. Healthy relationships and photo sharing


Delivered by Matt Himsworth and/or Leigh Nicol


Relationships are increasingly starting, and even continuing, online and many people are making risky decisions which can have a devastating impact. We talk about Leigh's real lived experience, as a victim of intimate image abuse, and encourage safe and positive behaviours.












5. Dangerous driving, gratitude and adversity


Delivered by Matt Himsworth/Fraser Franks with Shaun Whiter


Shaun is a double amputee having been hit by a drunk driver in 2016.


This session deals with dangerous driving, not just drink driving, because young drivers are often distracted by devices, driving too fast, and making similar mistakes, and uses a highly interactive immersive experience to show the true consequences of those kind of mistakes. It is a session that is essential for face-to-face as Shaun's missing legs are only revealed after the session starts and we will also set a volunteer a simple day-to-day task using Shaun's wheelchair.


The session though also focuses on the girls' football journey and the struggles we all have with pressure and mental health and gives a fantastic perspective and sense of gratitude and how to tackle adversity.


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