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Mental Health Day: Getting Involved in Sport

University Mental Health Day is on the 2nd March and this year the focus is all about how sport can help people who have mental health issues.

The main event will be a talk delivered by British ex-boxer and former heavyweight world champion Frank Bruno, who competed from 1982 to 1996.

Bruno fought against Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis in an outstanding boxing career, but a long sufferer of bipolar disorder, he has described his struggle with mental illness as his “toughest fight”.

Now the founder of his own mental health charity, The Frank Bruno Foundation, Bruno regularly speaks at events and works hard to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, helping people to regain their confidence through exercise.

As a part of University Mental Health Day, Frank Bruno will be coming to the University of Reading to talk about mental illness, and how important sport can be in fighting the stigma and helping people tackle their illness.

In Conversation with Frank Bruno will be happening from 2-3pm on Wednesday 1st March in the Van Emden lecture theatre in the HUMMS building.  The event is now fully booked, but follow this link to put yourself on the waiting list.

Frank Bruno will also be making a special guest appearance at the ‘Active Body, Healthy Mind’ super circuit training event at the SportsPark at 1-1.45pm on the 1st March.  All are welcome to attend the free group fitness event, you can sign up here.

A number of sports clubs will also be running taster sessions with the aim of getting people who suffer from mental illness to have fun and get active and involved in exercise.

The events that are happening will include:

1st March

Boxing 2-4pm (£3)

Trampolining 5.45-7.45pm (FREE)

Mixed Hockey 6-7pm (FREE)


3rd March

Archery 12-2pm (FREE)

Zumba 2-2.45pm in 3Sixty (£1)


7th March

Women’s Football 2.30-4.30pm (FREE)


8th March

Rounders 3-4.30pm (FREE)

Cheerleading 4-5pm (FREE)


Of course, mental illness is something that affects people every day of the year, so it’s lucky that there are local charities like Sport in Mind that are working hard around the clock to help people with mental illness by getting them involved in sport.

The Berkshire based charity was founded in 2009 by Neil Harris, who’s friend Jamie suffered from crippling depression.  Harris devised a programme of sport to aid his friend’s recovery, and inspired a charity which has gone on to help thousands who suffer from mental illness.

The charity runs sessions in football, table tennis, yoga, tai chi, badminton, walking, and jogging, all over Berkshire so there is always something going on and always something for people to get involved in.

Students who want to get involved with volunteering for the charity can do so through a placement scheme with the university, or on their own by following this link and signing up.

If you suffer from any kind of mental illness but want to get involved in some sport, you can get involved and participate in some sessions here.



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