Letter from DAWFL Sports Chaplain, Steven Thompson


Letter from DAWFL Sports Chaplain, Steven Thompson

Dear all,

I hope you all enjoyed Christmas and the New Year.

However while many of us enjoy time with friends and family so many people struggle through the festive period.

Many people put on the Christmas mask. When everyone asks them how was Christmas they say what is expected. How many people say what they really feel; that they were lonely, depressed, suicidal? We need these people to cry out for help but we need more people who can see the signs.

Unfortunately in Ireland we have an ever increasing epidemic of depression and suicide especially among men 18 to 50. At the last league meeting TJ on behalf of S.P.O.R.T.S. spoke passionately about these problems and how we MUST all work together to reduce the statistics. Remember the statistics we are talking about are lives.

My own club, 8th Old Boys had one of these statistics.

Brian Ferguson took his own life. Brian was not a statistic. He was a husband, father, son, brother and a friend to so many within our club and we still miss him.

Within our clubs, families, friendship groups, we need to personalise the statistics. We don’t want another Brian. Every club is likely to have the same situation.

Sports Chaplaincy, the DAWFL, SPORTS want all clubs to do as much as possible to improve the statistics.

We need to remove the masks. Ask the hard questions. Answer the hard questions.

If people think I am less of a man because I care for my friends, family and even strangers then that is a reflection on them not me. My wish for 2019 is that all of us try to remove the mask either from ourselves by admitting we are hurting or from others, by showing genuine love and concern.

I am available to anyone from any club. If your club has signed up for SPORTS then someone within the club has their details. Let’s start to turn these results around with a huge TEAM EFFORT.


Steven Thompson