Football commentator Adam Oxley is getting his walking boots on to raise awareness of mental health issues and raise vital funds for local Mind charities.
Adam is one of the presenters on BBC Radio Sheffield’s Football Heaven show and plans to walk between the top 25 football clubs in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire over five days, covering over 120 miles in the process.
The ‘Mind Heaven’ walk will take place from 19-23 May in between the English Football League (EFL) playoff semi-finals and the finals weekend, and includes every side from the top 10 levels of the men’s game and the top four levels of the women’s game.
Adam said: “Sport and in particular football is my passion and given I suffer from anxiety, this idea has been on my mind for a while, particularly having raised over £8,000 from two previous charity walks.
“In February, we did a special Football Heaven to mark Time to Talk Day when Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Sam Hutchinson joined me in the studio to share his depression story and take calls from listeners.
“The aim was to demonstrate that mental health issues can affect anyone, from professional footballers to radio presenters. The response was incredible and Sam was brilliant, talking openly, warmly and compassionately with callers, hearing their personal mental health stories and offering advice as best as anyone can.
“This gave me the inspiration to make the Mind Heaven walk a reality and I really hope it can raise lots of money for Mind, a charity that I’ve found really helpful over the last few years, notably when I had two periods of time off work.
“Nationally, Mind and the EFL have joined forces to use the power of football to improve people’s mental wellbeing, and I hope the walk will support this work, helping those who are struggling with mental health issues to get the support they need.
“I found walking to be a huge benefit when I was struggling, using physical exercise to improve my mental health. It’s such a simple form of exercise, for most people, and it’s free. I wouldn’t suggest walking 120 miles in such a short time but hopefully the Mind Heaven walk can encourage people to put one foot forward, get some fresh air and take a positive step in their life.”
If you want to get involved with the walk, tweet @adam3oxley or email email@example.com.
You can sponsor the walk and see the route online at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MindHeaven with all donations split between local Mind charities.
Day 1 – Sunday 19 May – 28miles
Hallam > Sheffield FC / Sheffield FC Ladies > Dronfield Town > Chesterfield > Staveley Miners Welfare > Swallownest > Handsworth Parramore
Day 2 – Monday 20 May – 28miles
Handsworth Parramore > Rotherham United > Maltby Main > Rossington Main / Doncaster Rovers Belles > Armthorpe Welfare
Day 3 – Tuesday 21 May – 26miles
Armthorpe Welfare > Doncaster Rovers > Parkgate > Worsbrough Bridge Athletic
Day 4 – Wednesday 22 May – 19miles
Worsbrough Bridge Athletic > Barnsley / Barnsley FC Ladies > Athersley Recreation > Penistone Church > Stocksbridge Park Steels
Day 5 – Thursday 23 May – 21miles
Stocksbridge Park Steels > Steel City Wanderers > Sheffield United Women > Sheffield Wednesday > Sheffield United