Premier League Inspires crucial to helping Sophie grow in confidence

9th July

Swansea City AFC Foundation’s Premier League Inspires programme helped to improve the mental wellbeing of 59 per cent of its 234 participants across the 2022-23 campaign, as detailed in the community organisation's latest Impact Report.

The programme looks to inspire young people to develop their personal skills and positive attitudes to succeed in life; the 10-to-12 week programme is targeted at comprehensive school pupils, with a focus on health and wellbeing.

Delivering across south-west Wales to 14 partner schools, just shy of 60 per cent of participants said they had more positive attitudes after completing the programme.

One such participant is Sophie Llewellyn from Pontarddulais Comprehensive School, who feels Premier League Inspires has been crucial in developing her understanding of how to support her physical and mental wellbeing.

“We’ve been doing activities around supporting our mental health, we’ve learned a lot through the programme," said Sophie.

“I’ve learned about wellbeing and how to look after my physical wellbeing, how to use social media, relationships and just things that you would really need in your life. 

“I think learning about my mental health helped me a lot, because I used to not really know how to deal with stressful situations properly. 

“Now that I’ve been through it, I know how to deal with these situations. I’ve also learned about how to get more physical activity in, because I personally didn’t do that much. 

“Physical activity isn’t just sport, I can find simple activities like walking to get the physical activity that I need, and the course helped with my mindfulness too.

"The practical side was also really enjoyable, we did team building and it helps you to become better at working with people."

Swans Foundation's Matthew Jenkins led the Premier League Inspires sessions at Pontarddulais, and saw a real change in Sophie over the course of the 10 weeks.

“I think Sophie did really well, she’s been on a real journey from day one,” said Jenkins.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with Sophie and I can see that she is now a lot happier to come into class, and she’s become a lot less anxious. 

“The mental health aspect of the course is really important, and I know Sophie in particular has benefited a lot from it.”

You can find out more about the Premier League Inspires programme here.