The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, has visited the Sporting Chance centre in Liphook, Hampshire. The President of the Football Association (FA) met with a number of adult survivors of child abuse. This follows the sexual abuse scandal that made the news in November last year when a number of ex-professional footballers spoke out about the abuse they had suffered at the hands of various former football coaches in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.
In the wake of the revelations, the charity was approached by the FA to set up a special support service for those affected by this abuse.
As of January 2017, more than 1,000 cases of abuse within football clubs had been reported to police, and this number is expected to increase.
About the charity
The Sporting Chance charity aims to help clubs, former players, and athletes tackle various issues including addiction, depression and anxiety. Organisations they work with include the Football Association (FA), the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), the Premier League, the Rugby Football League (RFL), and League Football Education (LFE). Sporting Chance provides support in three core areas: residential treatment, therapy and counselling, and education and training.
About the founder
Tony Adams played for Arsenal between 1983 and 2002. He amassed 669 appearances and became captain at the age of just of 21. He was capped 66 times for England, scoring five goals and captaining the team on 15 occasions. In 1996, he finally found the courage to deal with his own addiction to alcohol and told his full story in his autobiography, Addicted, which was released in 1998. He used the proceeds from this book to help launch the charity in 2000, and Sporting Chance is now the largest provider of treatment and education for sports professionals.
If you are responsible for sourcing equipment or football kits for a local club, take a look at the website of a kit specialist such as Kit King.
During his visit, Prince William said that he believed the majority of clubs are in need of a better understanding of how best to look after their players’ mental health, and that Sporting Chance is the leading light in this area. He cited this as one of the main reasons for the partnership between the FA and the charity.