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JJ HELPS LAUNCH DISABILITY FOOTBALL PROJECT

Posted on 28 September 2005  - 12:00

Jermaine Jenas helped kick off a unique sports scheme on Tuesday aimed at providing young Londoners with mental health problems with a variety of sporting activities.

Jermaine Jenas helped kick off a unique sports scheme on Tuesday aimed at providing young Londoners with mental health problems with a variety of sporting activities.

The midfielder - our new Football Foundation Ambassador - and former world and commonwealth middleweight boxing champ, Jason Matthews, joined participants on the Haringey Mencap Sports Programme, funded with a £228,474 grant from the Football Foundation, the UK's largest sports charity.

The official launch was at the Lane on Tuesday and Jermaine, fresh from our win against Fulham on Monday night, was delighted to lend his support.

"As an Ambassador for the Football Foundation I already know of the great work they already do," he said.

As an Ambassador for the Football Foundation I already know of the great work they already do

"This new partnership between the Foundation, Haringey Mencap and the outstanding community scheme at Tottenham is set to deliver fantastic opportunities for many vulnerable people."

The project, run in association with Spurs, will provide a multi-sport and educational experience for adults with learning difficulties and multiple disabilities and will also help create training opportunities for 70 volunteers from the local area to provide football coaching and community sports provision.

A number of teams affiliated to the Club including deaf and hearing impaired, visually impaired, cerebral palsy and wheelchair users will be created and links will be established with similar schemes at Chelsea, Arsenal and Charlton.

Research has revealed that people with mental health problems are almost twice as likely as the general public to die from coronary heart disease and four times more likely to die from respiratory diseases. It is estimated around half of these premature deaths are caused by physical health problems and the lack of exercise and sporting opportunities.

The delivery of this exciting and valuable football programme will also play a significant role in breaking down the barriers of ignorance and fear that surrounds mental illness.