“Suicide is an epidemic in this country.”
A sad but true statement with regards to Irish people and in this case we focus on the Suicide or Survive special featuring League of Ireland players and coaches. This is a physical challenge to highlight mental health awareness by Bray Wanderers first team coach Graham Kelly with a number of League of Ireland players and coaches at the supreme altitude gym in Bray.
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Graham gave an insight into the challenge itself and his experience including what has helped him complete the challenge for over a month straight.
“We’re about to go into a spin class in a heated altitude chamber that will be fifty degrees with only fifteen percent oxygen in the room.”
Mr Kelly was the only person to stay in the chamber for the entire duration of the extremely tough challenge.
“The challenge is forty minutes so I do my best to try and stay there for the full time, it’s not easy.”
“It is very tough; in fairness some of the lads have games and are coming back from injury so I can understand that.”
One major factor in sport that can have a serious affect on mental health is a serious career threatening injury, one thing Bray Wanderers defender Hughie Douglas knows all too well. Hughie has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament for the second time and faces another operation and more time out. He gave his thoughts on the affect a serious injury can have mentally on a player.
“You do go to a dark place and you ask yourself why is it me a second time around? It’s my third knee operation on Friday.”
“In the League Of Ireland a lot of lads don’t get paid a lot of money, it’s a case where do you have to call it a day, whether it be an injury or age you ask yourself, what happens now?”
“I’m lucky I’m in my final year of my degree so I’ve something to fall back on come the end of the year.”
Drogheda United manager Tim Clancy spoke at the event focusing on the lack of males in sport opening up about mental health struggles.
“Yeah I think in general society it’s one of the positive things from social media that people open up a bit more now, they certainly didn’t ten, fifteen years ago.”
“It is a hoodoo in sport, cause it’s all about being macho and having the right attitude and being mentally strong. I think there’s a lot more resources now for people to tap into within sport.”
“Suicide is an epidemic in this country, there’s many reasons behind suicide and if there’s avenues there for people to talk it’s certainly a good thing.”
Also on this morning’s show we were joined by Dublin Ladies manager Mick Bohan and Aoife Kane ahead of the Leinster final against Westmeath. Meanwhile Dublin’s Philly McMahon spoke on their 8th Leinster title in a row and the new super 8’s system that is in place in this years championship. Stephen Bradley spoke following Shamrock Rovers 2-0 win over Derry and Michael Conlan following his homecoming win in Belfast to take him to 8-0 as a professional.
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