Pat McGibbon a former professional footballer for Manchester United, Wigan and Northern Ireland took time out of his busy schedule to chat to us about his work with his charity and football coaching centre, Train To Be Smart, which promotes mental health through sport.
Pats playing career lasted between 1992 – 2002. When his playing time finished he returned home to Northern Ireland to work as a physiotherapist whilst also playing, coaching and managing at a part-time professional level.
Pat set up his charity in memory of his brother Philip and it now supports more than 200 people living in deprived areas in Northern Ireland. It has been such a success that, in 2018, Pat received the Points of Light award, a prestigious award for his work aimed at increasing mental health resilience in youngsters.
Train 2B Smarts Mission Statement is:
The aim of TTBS Soccer is to build a football club which encourages participation through a structured framework, allowing boys/girls through all levels of ability and those with special needs to enjoy sport and gain life skills as a result.
Our aim is to successfully develop and implement a structured and progressive coaching network, further promoting and providing development opportunities for physical, technical and emotional improvements for all its players, allowing these children the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Sir Alex Ferguson at TTBS Mental Health Awareness Event April 10th 2017
Sir Alex Ferguson and ex-United team-mate Roy Keane have both helped Pat raise awareness and funds for the charity and centre.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Pat for doing a video blog for us and also for his continued work to increase awareness in mental health.