Think Football players thankful for Foundation programme

1 November 2018

Think Football players thankful for Foundation programme

World Mental Health Day took place earlier this month, prompting people and organisations from around the world to stress the importance of talking about an issue that has been a taboo subject for far too long.

Two of the Aston Villa Foundation’s Think Football participants were brave enough to open up and share their struggles with mental health.

Dino Maphosa, who moved to England from Zimbabwe when he was 12, saw his life fall apart after losing his business, leading to the onset of depression. He said: “I was a businessman owning a shop in Dudley. I had a wife and a child, and we lost the business financially. The market went really wrong for us and we were forced to shut down. I lost my marriage, lost my job – everything. I moved back home with my parents and things started getting to me. I couldn’t be around people, I just wanted to be by myself. I had given up.”

Think Football – Dino's story

Dino Maphosa experienced depression and anxiety after losing his business and seeing his marriage fall apart.Through our Think Football sessions, he's rebuilding his life and tackling his mental health.

Geplaatst door Aston Villa Foundation op Woensdag 10 oktober 2018


Fellow Think Football player Kris Beauchamp attended the first ever session at Villa Park last year as he grappled with social anxiety and depression. He said: “At the time, I was really struggling with my mental health – anxiety and depression. I wasn’t playing any football. Coming down here is something I’ve always loved. It’s built up my confidence, self-esteem and got me into a much better place in my life. I struggle with anxiety and a lot of that was quite social, so I had trouble joining new teams. Coming down here was a big step for me.”

Think Football, which takes place every Wednesday in the Academy Building from 11 am – 12:30 pm, has built up a regular group of around 40 players. With the support of Foundation coaches, who put on regular workshops for the group, both Dino and Kris have revelled in the escape of football, making friends along the way.

Dino said: “This Think Football we have at the Villa, we have the best facilities, we have the staff who are behind us and encourage us. They are our mentors, our brothers and sisters. We get tournaments here, we play other teams and we share stories from different backgrounds and that keeps us together. I feel very, very happy when I’m here.”

Think Football – Kris' story

Kris Beauchamp attended our first Think Football session last year and has been a regular ever since.The programme has helped improve his self-esteem and confidence at the club he supports, and he shared his story as part of World Mental Health Day yesterday.

Geplaatst door Aston Villa Foundation op Donderdag 11 oktober 2018


Kris added: “As soon as I came down, I felt at ease, I felt comfortable and that’s transmitted into the rest of my life. I’ve gone and joined other groups from this, so it’s been massive for me. “I probably should have spoken out sooner than I did. Once you make that step, it’s a fantastic thing to do and you get yourself on the road to mending your own mental health.”


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