"I only started about a month ago. I used to play football regularly but work and life got in the way the last few years. My other half recommended this group to me and I decided I would turn up as I had nothing to lose. From the moment I got there I was greeted by Michael Cunningham and welcomed to the group. There was no awkwardness, just friendly faces and a great bunch of lads.
I have now been going for a month, and I look forward to it every week. I'm making friends with people in my local area, my physical and mental fitness has notably improved since the first session and if I mess up or overrun the ball I hear only encouragement from everyone else, which is a far cry from other teams mentalities.
If anyone out there enjoys football and wants to make a step towards better mental health, I would urge you to turn up. I can promise you, you will not regret it"
"I started kick start three weeks ago although I’ve been wanting to go for a lot longer but was very apprehensive about it. Upon plucking up the courage to actually attend I was met by 20+ people that I had never seen before and almost didn’t get out the car! However, I'm so glad I did. Not only was I welcomed straight away by Michael but was also welcomed by 5 or 6 of the others who were attending and I immediately felt like part of the team.
Every week I’ve managed to open up more and more as a person because of the atmosphere and positivity from the group. I have played across Saturday and Sunday league football for going on 25+ Years now and I can honestly say I have never felt this comfortable playing football EVER!!
Such an amazing group of people from all walks of life and now that I’ve met and interacted with most of them maybe I’ll open up about my issues which is a hard thing for me to do but I now feel comfortable enough to share my story and that’s only because of the amazing work that Michael is doing with Kick Start.
I can’t stress enough to people who are thinking of coming along it’s definitely worth it and you’ll be glad you did !! I KNOW I AM !!!
Thank You to everyone at Kick Start and Especially Michael"
"I started going to Kick Start FC about a month ago. I'm 41 going on 42 and gave up football about 15 years ago. I had been running but that can get a bit tedious. A friend asked me to play a friendly game and I couldn't believe how unfit I had become. I know Michael and had heard great things about Kick Start, as I enjoyed the friendly I played against Kick Start FC I thought I would give the Kick Start FC sessions a go.
The first evening I went I was quite nervous, to say I'm not the greatest of players is probably bigging up my footballing ability. When I got to the session I saw a couple of friendly faces but everyone there was really welcoming. There are people, girls and lads, there of all different levels of footballing ability but everyone there is positive and are full of encouragement for everyone else who attends.
I'm already noticing a difference in my fitness levels, I'm getting more confident playing football with everyone there and am making some new friends. Michael and all those that help him are doing a great job. If you're looking for a great way to spend an hour of your week to meet new people and improve your fitness then I highly recommend Kick Start FC."
"I recently joined kick start F.C after my father bugged me about going, I had a bad experience with Sunday league football which had damaged my confidence a lot. I came down to my first session and I felt like a part of the team straight away. I enjoy the fact it is all about encouragement and everyone there is dealing with something in there own way with mental health and that we can always count on Mike for advice. It’s one of the only things I look forward to in the week and it always kick starts my week in such a good way"
"My first session was pre-lockdown and I was a little anxious beforehand. I wanted to meet new people as I am relatively new to the local area. What I enjoy now is that it is a consistent social activity and all the guys who turn up are spot on. It's also a good opportunity to talk about mental health if I ever needed to speak out."
"I started going to Kick Start around 5/6 weeks ago as I'm still new to the area and not met too many people. Initially I looked at joining a Sunday team but due to work I wasn't able to commit. Michael Cunningham is very welcoming, the guys are a great bunch and it's all about enjoying the football. It's good to see that every week the standard is improving but more importantly the atmosphere in the group is positive to be around."