Kilmarnock and former Scotland striker Kris Boyd was on hand at Hampden to announce William Hill’s sponsorship of the Scottish FA Mental Health and Wellbeing League.
Already long-term supporters of the Scottish Cup, William Hill have thrown their weight behind a competition that aims to harness the power of football to promote mental health and provide a support structure for those who are affected by a range of mental health and wellbeing issues.
The league is made up of two groups of six teams, drawn from across the country, and consists of eight match-days spanning from February to November.
Scottish FA Para-Football Manager, David McArdle, explained: “The Scottish FA and our partners are committed to supporting mental health and wellbeing across the whole game – from grassroots to the senior game.
“The Scottish FA Mental Health and Wellbeing League, sponsored by William Hill, allows participants to gain confidence and enjoy football in a safe and nurturing environment, which allows the players to move towards mainstream activity.”
Bill South, Director of Community Affairs at William Hill, added: “We’re proud to become the first sponsor of the Scottish FA Mental Health and Wellbeing League.
“Mental Health is a massive issue in both sport and society. We hope the league will help people with mental health concerns and also raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis of the condition.”
Boyd, who has spoken previously of his support for mental health causes on the back of launching his own foundation, posed for pictures alongside William Hill’s Ollie Blackwell and Tony McLaren, National Coordinator for Breathing Space, who said: “Breathing Space is a free and confidential phone service which provides support to around 8000 people across Scotland each month, struggling with issues such as low mood, anxiety and stress.
“There are strong links between physical activity and good mental wellbeing so we are delighted to be involved in this initiative and hope that the Scottish FA Mental Health and Wellbeing League goes from strength to strength.”
Newly-appointed Scotland Head Coach Alex McLeish had the last word.
“I am pleased to endorse the Scottish FA Mental Health and Wellbeing League and applaud William Hill’s backing of a project that does so much good work around a very important subject.
“We all know people who have had their struggles and anything that can be done to offer a support network – especially using the power of football – can only be a positive.”