Feature: A team in Doncaster to tackle mental health

Pictured at the first training session of the Doncaster mental health football team are back l-r Richie Vie, 31, Simon Robinson, 32, Doncaster Rovers representatives Liam Scully, Jan Budtz, and Jan Milner, Dave Clark, 38, Sam Lord, 38, and Trudi Race, of Cheswold Park Hospital. Front l-r are Chris Pow, 38, Simon Watts, 35, Danny Borom, 25, of The Dome Fitness Village, David Parks-Bailey, 30, and Ryan Jamieson, 25.  Picture: Liz Mockler D4058LM
Pictured at the first training session of the Doncaster mental health football team are back l-r Richie Vie, 31, Simon Robinson, 32, Doncaster Rovers representatives Liam Scully, Jan Budtz, and Jan Milner, Dave Clark, 38, Sam Lord, 38, and Trudi Race, of Cheswold Park Hospital. Front l-r are Chris Pow, 38, Simon Watts, 35, Danny Borom, 25, of The Dome Fitness Village, David Parks-Bailey, 30, and Ryan Jamieson, 25. Picture: Liz Mockler D4058LM

Sport is for all - and there is no better example in Doncaster at present than a new football team for people with mental health conditions.

And PFG Doncaster FC could hardly have dreamt of making a better start on the pitch - beating local rivals Barnsley 2-1 in their first ever tournament.

A team called REACT had previously been an outlet for people who wanted to use football as an alternative to medication or therapy.

However, when that club folded last year due to a lack of funding it left a massive void for players keen to ressurect their squad.

Personalisation Forum Group (PFG) then teamed up with Doncaster MIND, Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust and Doncaster Rovers Foundation to rebuild a team.

PFG - a group which offers support for people who want to be mentally well and do things for themselves - has since netted a strong squad of players.

They have also enlisted former REACT coach and ex-Doncaster Belles and England Ladies player Jan Milner.

Their kits, sponsored by RDaSH, will also be unveiled at half time when Doncaster Rovers host Carlisle on April 9.

PFG chairman Martin Haythorne, who founded PFG Doncaster FC along with member Chris Pow, has been delighted with the support.

“The response has been really good,” he said.

“RDaSH are now looking at referring new players, both men and women, rather than relying on therapy and medication.

“We are now looking at a Pan Disability league team which the players will run for themselves with PFG support. We’re also planning a non-competitive team for training so people can build confidence.”