Sporting Chance Clinic
The PDPA are pleased to be associated with Sporting Chance Clinic:
Tony Adams MBE: Inspired by his own recovery from alcoholism and founded in 2000; Sporting Chance Clinic is the brainchild of former Arsenal and England captain Tony Adams MBE. Based on his experience, and what he felt was lacking, Tony saw the need for a safe, dedicated environment, where sportsmen and women could receive support and counselling for the kinds of destructive behaviour patterns that exist in the world of competitive sport, but that are often denied.
Helpline number: 07500 000777 This is a confidential service
Sporting Chance Clinic has since developed into one of the world’s most innovative centres for the treatment of behavioural problems among professional and amateur sports people.
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PDPA/Sporting Chance Seminars:
The PDPA have already inspired to a Sporting Chance Seminar from 2015 to 2018 these will continue in 2019 and onwards.
Sporting Chance Seminars
As many PDPA members will be aware, Sporting Chance, represented by CEO Colin Bland and their PDPA representative Alex, have now thrice been invited by Peter Manley and Alan Warriner-Little of the PDPA to present a seminar to its membership at the Metrodome in Barnsley.
The seminars are designed to give the opportunity for PDPA members to gain a better understanding of some of the issues that affect professional sportsmen and women with regards to emotional wellbeing and addiction and an overview of the support provided by Sporting Chance that is currently available to all PDPA members.
Following an introductions by Colin Bland, who provided a brief history of Sporting Chance as a charity and the range of services it offers, PDPA members listened to the personal stories of three guest speakers, all current or former professional sportsmen with their own experience of addiction or mental health issues.
Former Arsenal and Celtic striker John Hartson talked of his problematic relationship with gambling and the emotional lows he suffered prior to seeking help over five years ago. John was followed by current Warrington rugby league player Ben Harrison who eloquently described his addiction to prescription drugs and his subsequent recovery instigated by his call to Sporting Chance. The final guest speaker, former Burnley centre back and chairman of the PFA Clarke Carlisle, recounted his own personal experience of his struggles with depression throughout his life, his well-documented suicide attempt two years ago and the help he has received through Sporting Chance to overcome his illness.
The event was well attended by PDPA members and each of the guest speakers relayed to us the positive feedback they received as they mixed with the players after the event, some of whom had identified with some of the experiences shared on stage. Sporting Chance are currently liaising with the PDPA to send a representative to another PDC tournament in the near future that will build on the strong platform that the Metrodome Seminar has undoubtedly laid.
Cards with the Sporting Chance contact number were distributed to all PDPA members present at the event and Sporting Chance have communicated to the PDPA that they would be happy for this note to be shared with their membership to further publicise the help it can offer to them and to remind them of the number to call, listed below, for our strictly confidential support.
Sporting Chance would like to reiterate their thanks to both Peter Manley and Alan Warriner-Little for all their work in organising the seminar and look forward to working with them on an ongoing basis to support the PDPA membership.
Colin Bland, CEO, Sporting Chance
We also run a successful Lifestyle Education Seminar, designed to give young athletes the information and tools they need to avoid the pitfalls and destructive behaviour patterns which can develop in the pressure-cooker world of professional sport. We are proud to be an integral tool for a number of football clubs and other sporting organisations including the PFA, English and Scottish Premier Leagues, League Football Education (LFE) and SPFA.
Located in Forest Mere, Hampshire, Sporting Chance Clinic benefits from the high quality facilities supplied by Champneys and enjoys the 158-acre site of outstanding natural beauty. Sporting Chance is absolutely up there with all the medals Ive ever won, the England cap and everything. I am very proud of what I created here.
Tony Adams MBE
A small note on enquiries: Whilst we welcome enquiries regarding our services, possible client referrals, or simply someone asking advice as to help a using addict, we are a relatively small team. We endeavour to respond the same day or at worst the next day. All at Sporting Chance are aware of the courage it takes to ask for help, and when a person reaches out, we will be there.
Recently there has been a dramatic increase in personal requests for Tony Adams. Media, press, requests for signed shirts, autographs, speaking engagements; the list is long. Tony is the founder trustee and attends board meetings but is not involved in the day to day running of the charity.
Sporting Chance would like to emphasise that the charity does not handle these matters, they are passed on to his agent.We do not respond to the e mails as there is insufficient time for the supportive work we carry out. All requests are forwarded but the charity is not responsible for a reply, nor is it reflective of the charity. For matters concerning Sporting Chance Colin Bland the Chief Executive can be contacted on the office number.
CLICK HERE to go to the Sporting Chance Clinic website
What Sporting Chance Clinic Provides:
Darts and darts players will have their own unique set of circumstances and wants that we will need to educate ourselves to understand. This has been true of each sport we have worked with, different cultures and pressures lead to different stresses, coping strategies and problems.
What would also be true is that there is a commonality across sport and sportspeople that have informed what we do and how we do it to offer a safe and professional service. Key within this is assuring players of confidentiality and a service that respects the structure and demands of their chosen discipline.
Sporting Chance is made up of three key departments: One-to-one counselling/therapy; Residential Treatment for Addictive Disorders and Education. Below is a brief description of each area.
One-to-One Counselling & Therapy:
Sporting Chance offers a national network of counsellors/therapists; all members of this network have been vetted with regards to qualifications, discipline, insurance and suitability. The service is accessed by telephoning a central number or emailing a discreet address. The individual will be offered an informal guiding assessment as to the purpose of their call and the appropriate services we can offer in their area.
In most cases services will be offered within a geographical hour of the caller’s base and initial contact with the provider (Counsellor / Therapist) made within 24 hours. Presentations to this area include, Depression, Anxiety, Alcohol & Drug Use, Gambling, Bereavement and Transition Difficulties.
We recommend a model that follows ‘Nice’ guidelines of an initial cluster of six sessions being offered. In seventy percent of cases this is ample to support an individual in to a place of self-care and an on-going solution. Some will not need all six and some will fail to take up their appointments. Of the other thirty percent we ask counsellors to request an additional cluster of six sessions with reasoning for our consideration.
It is rare that there is not good reason and a request is not granted. Twelve sessions offers an individual, based on a weekly appointment, three months of counselling / therapy. We feel this is an excellent service offered by our current stakeholders to their members. We have a blanket fee that we pay on to network members.
Players can call themselves or be referred by you, the association. If a player chooses to come directly we usually find a method of protecting their confidentiality. This is not a twenty-four hour service, however we do work with a partner that can cover out-of-office hours if you wished to provide around the clock coverage.
In summary this is a low cost way of offering access to a confidential service tailored to sports-participants needs.
Residential Treatment for Addictive Disorders:
This is exactly what it says, a twenty-six day residential programme offered exclusively to participants of sport. It treats addiction and uses a recognised model of treatment delivered by psychotherapists employed by the charity. Presentations to this service include alcohol, drug and gambling addiction; we will consider other presentations such as food and sex as secondary symptoms.
The key fact of this service is that it offers treatment for the specific issue – an addictive disorder; we will consider applicants with secondary diagnosis such as depression / bi-polar if they are under control but the treatment offered will not address these issues in isolation.
This is a unique service and probably the flagship of Sporting Chance, we believe it to be the only service in the world treating addictive disorders aimed exclusively at this group. Confidentiality is paramount to this service and given the highest attention from the moment of enquiry through to the process of aftercare.
Sporting Chance Education Department offers a range of seminars and workshops tailored to our stakeholders needs. As I said when we met, I think it would be good to discuss this area with Andrew Jordan our education lead and develop a programme that best suits darts. In my mind education serves two purposes: it acts as a preventative tool for those who may have a potential problem and as a sign-post to services for those who already do.
Most education formats that we use provide a mix of information, self-reflection and the opportunity to hear the experience of a player/ex-player (probably initially this will need to be from another sport) who have experienced the issues being discussed. We discussed opportunities to bring players and/or young players together to events or to build something in to existing events to offer these seminars.
This face to face style of education has proved to offer a powerful and engaging format for many of our stakeholder’s audiences.
Stakeholders also advertise our services and contact details on their websites and at events. I think the important thing is to work together on providing education that is relevant and accessible to your members.