Podium Analytics and Centre for Mental Health, an independent, non-profit think-tank, are embarking on a ground-breaking research project to explore how young people think and talk about sports injury, mental health and wellbeing.
The study will investigate what factors young people believe create positive, healthy sport experiences, and how these might relate to injury prevention and recovery. The findings will help researchers start to unravel the complex relationships between mental health, injury and recovery among young people aged 11–18 who play sport.
Previous work has shown that simple, clear messaging is one of the elements required for successful public health campaigns, so we will also be exploring the language that young people use and understand when they talk about injury and mental wellbeing in sport. We will be sharing these insights with leaders in sport, health and education to help them talk to more young people, more effectively, about this important topic.
Sport’s potential to boost mental wellbeing, as well as physical health, has put long-term participation at the heart of the UK’s public health strategy. Positive sport experiences nudge health and wellbeing trajectories in a positive direction – but injuries, unhealthy environments and associated mental health problems that halt participation can have a quietly devastating impact on young people’s lives.