As we approach the end of the season (as strange as it has been), now feels like an obvious time to look back in order to learn from the challenges and lows, but also to celebrate the wins and highs; goals, penalty saves, team spirit and of course being the first team to score against/gain points vs TNS back in October, among other highlights.
Thinking not just of this season, but looking back at the last year it has been really difficult for so many. Covid-19 has had a huge impact on our lives and the wider impact we may not yet fully know.
We have seen sports paused, stadiums empty, leagues and teams not being able to train or play at all. Many of us are experiencing job uncertainties, had plans cancelled and unable to be with our friends and families as usual. Some of us have had to say goodbye to loved ones under very difficult circumstances, we may have juggled home-schooling and home-working, had our relationships at home under new pressures or perhaps experienced amplified feelings of loneliness.
If there is one thing we have learned this year, it is that we cannot control everything in life, but maybe we can control our response to uncertainty and surround ourselves with support for the challenges.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (10th-16th May). I know our mental wellbeing can be tough to talk about, we can try to put a brave face on and maybe struggle to be honest with ourselves about how we are affected. But if we are honest, some of these challenges will have impacted us. The Mental Health Foundation has put together 5 top tips for our wellbeing as part of the awareness week:
Connect, Take Notice, Give, Be Active and Keep Learning. You can see more here.
However this season ends and whatever comes next, please know I am always available for a chat, or to simply listen. Please know I am praying for you, your families, and all at the club. This Sunday, 16th May, is National Sports Sunday; a day when Churches across the UK give special attention to pray for Sports clubs and communities; these prayers are for you too.
Let us support each other in the challenges and celebrate together the successes. After all, connection is good for us.
Aber As One.
Jon Butler, Club Chaplain.