In early 2020, Drogheda United embarked on a venture to sign up multiple Patrons who would then enter a draw to choose a charity after which to name United Park. Unfortunately, the pandemic interrupted our plans as many businesses suffered in the lockdowns.
However, last week a draw took place to choose a winner and local Councillor, Joanna Byrne, emerged successful. As a great advocate of mental health initiatives, Joanna has selected “Head in the Game Park” to be the new name for United Park for 2021. Head in the Game is a movement set up by Irish football fans to raise awareness of the importance of mental health across the football community.
Joanna commented: “I’m acutely aware that we face a significant mental health challenge in Ireland in the coming years. I have seen young Drogheda fans with banners saying “it’s ok not to be ok” and I think it’s wonderful that younger people are confronting the stigma of mental health. I really hope the renaming of United Park takes this a step further”.
Chairperson of Head In The Game, Dean Arrowsmith, commented: “The pandemic has made life tough for a lot of people. We want to work on breaking down stigma and getting people to speak to one another when they’re having a difficult day or week. We hope our campaign can do a lot of good over the season ahead. I want to thank the team in Drogheda United for getting us involved and for their ongoing support; it’s a privilege for us as a group and we hope our campaign can be embraced right throughout the League”.
Dan O’Reilly, centre back for Drogheda United, commented: “There are mental health issues right across the football community – players, coaches, managers, supporters and all their families. As a society, we need to face up to it and help where we can, and myself and all the players are looking forward to winning matches at Head in the Game Park”.
Head in the Game encourage the support of all mental health charities, in particular Shine and Jigsaw.