Bright Ideas for Tennis intends to provide the opportunity of free tennis sessions to any person experiencing a mental health condition. The sessions will lessen the stigma of mental health, reduce the feelings of anxiety and depression, help the participants to feel less isolated, build self esteem / confidence, but most of all, provide a safe, welcoming environment to have fun and to meet new friends.
The people that would benefit from our project would be predominantly adults: those experiencing mental health problems. In most cases, these people experience low levels of self-esteem and confidence, and social isolation. They struggle to engage in mainstream sports provision due to their conditions, and confidence issues. As a consequence, this quite often leads to a sedentary lifestyle which, in turn, causes serious physical health problems, leading to a reduced life expectancy.
Giving the opportunity to play FREE tennis once a week will help to break down any barriers to engagement in physical activity. Getting people more active will improve their mental, physical and emotional health - resulting in lower levels of anxiety and depression. The groups will give people the positive motivation needed to get out of the house, thus challenging isolation issues. The sessions will help to provide structure, and give meaning, to the participants weekly activities.
Of all players with a disability who take up tennis, 80% feel much happier, healthier and less isolated. Our new players will experience reduced levels of anxiety, and reduced symptoms of depression. Learning a new skill will help to build confidence and self esteem. Opportunities to volunteer will also provide a pathway for the participants to begin to re-integrate back in to society. Friends, family, work colleagues will all benefit from a healthier human being.