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Burnley boss Vincent Kompany visits local school for mental health talk

16 January 2023

“I’m a big believer that Football Clubs have a big responsibility within their local communities.”

Burnley manager Vincent Kompany demonstrated his commitment to engaging in community activity by attending a mental health session at local school Shuttleworth College, as part of the EFL’s Week of Action.

The 36-year-old, who has steered the Clarets to top spot in the Sky Bet Championship, took time out of his Monday morning to discuss stress and anxiety management with a group of Year 8 pupils.

“I’m part of a Club that has an exemplary attitude to community involvement,” Kompany declared. “You can say that football should stay on the pitch, but I think it’s much more than that.

“Our impact within the community is huge and it needs to be respected and cherished. Today’s event is just one of the things we do and it’s an important project.”

Thirteen-year-old Kian, a match-goer at Turf Moor, was one of the students to take part in the workshop.

He said: “It was very exciting and surreal. I watch him at Burnley games and now I’ve actually got to see him properly in person. He’s really nice and down to earth. He’s so famous, so I thought he might not take so much notice of us, but he asked us questions and gave us all a fair chance to speak to him.

“I asked him about whether he was anxious ahead of the Blackburn game, because it’s a big rivalry. He said to just focus on controlling the things you can control and learn to let go of what you can’t.

“It helps because it shows that even the top professional footballers go through similar feelings to us. He said he experiences his own worries at times and it’s helpful to hear how he’s dealt with it over the years and managed to be successful.”

Burnley’s mental wellbeing project is delivered to seven schools across the area as an early intervention programme, with workers on hand to support pupils with any anxieties and stresses.

“It’s really important that we speak about mental health,” Michael Colquhoun, Director of Community Projects at Burnley in the Community, explained. “A problem shared among the group is a problem halved.

“I think the pupils are really open to talking about it and that’s becoming more common. There were some amazing questions for Vincent, comparing anxiety on the pitch to anxiety in their own lives and asking how he deals with issues himself. Vincent was very open with his answers as well – the impact he’s made today is phenomenal.

“The Club invests in what we’re doing in the community, so we’re really lucky here.”

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