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SPAR Proteas netball captain, Bongi Msomi, and World Cup-winning Springbok, Lukhanyo Am, advocate the importance of mental health to lead balanced sporting lives

Young athletes, coaches and parents across the country will receive mental health and wellbeing support with the announcement of an impactful learning partnership between SuperSport Schools and the world’s leading sports performance, wellbeing and psychology platform – Believe Perform.

The collaboration will merge SuperSport Sport Schools’ extensive school and youth database with Believe Perform’s world renowned curriculum, which is focused on promoting a healthy balance between performance and mental health using expert-led visual learning resources.

World Cup-winning Springbok and Sharks captain, Lukhanyo Am, hopes rising athletes will be able to find the balance between being physically and mentally fit. “Sport comes with a lot of highs and lows, challenges and opportunities which can all have an effect on your mental health and ultimately your performance. The pandemic has shown us how important it is to not only be physically fit, but mentally fit too; the two work hand in hand. I hope the young sportsmen and women who have signed up to SuperSport Schools will use this opportunity to make sure they lead balanced and happy sporting lives.”

The partnership provides the platform to give athletes, coaches and parents applied and practical tools to help build positive mental health habits. As part of this partnership, SuperSport Schools will have access to a suite of mental health resources to promote awareness and encourage best practice amongst their community. In addition, all new schools in the SuperSport Schools network will receive a starter pack of resources to get them started on the road to furthering their proficiency in this area. This will be supported by a year-round curriculum, including expert-hosted webinars, encouraging the use of mental health and -skills building.

Speaking on the partnership, SuperSport Schools General Manager, Gerhard Steyn said: “ The impact of Covid-19 on schools and the youth has highlighted the importance of mental health in our communities. We are delighted to welcome Believe Perform as our mental health partner and to be giving our young athletes this fundamental support to lead balanced and successful sporting lives.”

Former SA Water Polo captain and Olympian Duncan Woods, the Believe Perform lead in South Africa commented: “Our purpose is to inspire the worlds of sport and education to experience the full power of mental fitness through visual led learning. We are extremely excited to become the Mental Health Partner to SuperSport Schools and look forward to sharing our expertise with their community of schools.”

The belief is that with the right education, knowledge and support, people can be helped to improve their performance within their own chosen sport, and in doing so, support sports people to build positive mental health habits.

SPAR Proteas netball captain, Bongi Msomi, echoed Am’s sentiment: “Mental health is as equally important as the physical health of an athlete’s journey. A healthy and a positive mind is a winner on its own so it is very exciting that SuperSport Schools and Believe Perform are giving young sportsmen and women this opportunity. Expectations and challenges in sport can get overwhelming and only those who are mentally fit can be sustained and will peak gradually in their performance. An athlete’s life is a challenging life that requires a full-on commitment and some sacrifice, if you are not mentally prepared for the holistic package, it can end up being a short career or hobby. Stay strong, speak about your struggles or challenges and get assistance early where required. Be committed, keep an open mind and embrace the journey”.

The partnership will be looking to improve the access to mental health resources available in schools and help more athletes, parents and coaches to stay mentally healthy, in and out of sport.

About SuperSport Schools
SuperSport Schools exists to grow school sports and get more sports stars to shine across the African continent by broadcasting the full South African Schools Sports story from the beginning. Our vision is to extend this to encompass the African continent. SuperSport Schools records and live-streams school sports automatically so that parents and other interested parties can watch from anywhere, live or any time on demand at no costs to the viewer.

About Believe Perform
Believe Perform is a pioneer in visual lead learning around Mental Health and Wellbeing and we have made it our mission to develop creative resources that students, teachers and coaches can proactively use to build and maintain mental fitness. We have a range of practical and applied resources that can be used in normal school time, at home, in tutor sessions, and part of life-orientation and sports programmes.