Dear Friends of Sporting Chance,
It seems strange to be introducing myself to some of you at the same time as announcing my departure, but it is a great privilege to be writing some words for this update.
I’m Chris Murphy, and was (until very recently) the charity’s Communications Manager and Gambling Education Facilitator. I am still, and always will be, like you, a friend of Sporting Chance.
This is a charity all about giving people a chance. Mainly sportspeople but sometimes others connected to sport, like me. And my first experience with Sporting Chance was through the support they gave me to help my recovery from gambling addiction and other mental health issues.
As both my recovery and relationship with Sporting Chance grew longer and stronger, I was asked to share my story as part of an education session at a football club. This must have gone well as Alex Mills (Head of Education, Communication and Athlete Engagement) invited me to assist more regularly in this area.
This work gave me a great sense of fulfilment and purpose, and I am proud to have helped to design and launch Sporting Chance’s Gambling Awareness, Treatment and Education (GATE) programme – the only education and treatment programme available to professional sportspeople that focuses specifically on unhealthy gambling. To have been given the support and reasonable freedom to work on such a project is something I will always be very grateful to the team at Sporting Chance for and I will take pride in the small part I have played in a legacy that will help many get on to a better life path.
Alex and Colin Bland (CEO) eventually convinced me to utilise my previous communications and public relations experience too, and I became permanent Communications Manager for the charity almost two years ago.
Again, I feel proud of and blessed to have done the work we have in this area, including helping to create a more visible online footprint for Sporting Chance and, indeed, the Friends of Sporting Chance initiative that has resulted in you reading this.
The more people that know about Sporting Chance, the more people Sporting Chance can help. As a friend of the charity, I will continue to shout about the good work the charity does in the hope that a sportsperson who needs help finds it. I encourage you to do the same.
The decision to leave Sporting Chance was a tough one but it is one that I was only able to make because they helped give me a second chance at life after addiction and depression, and I am taking that chance with both hands and pursuing my dream career as a darts commentator.
I would like to personally thank Alex and Ellie in the Education office for making my time at Sporting Chance such a pleasurable period. The department is in very safe hands with them.
I’d also like to thank them both and Colin, Shellie, Craig and the whole team for supporting my decision to move on as much as they supported me in my roles with the charity.
My outgoing request to everyone reading this is to tell at least one sportsperson about Sporting Chance, the mental health people for professional sportspeople. You never know, it might just give them the second chance it has given me and thousands of others.
A friend forever,