• Chris Murphy

Spotlight On: The 12 Steps of Recovery

Sporting Chance are advocates of the Twelve Step Recovery model for those who suffer with an addictive disorder. It was developed in the 1930s by the first members of Alcoholics Anonymous and has helped millions of people around the world recover from substance addictions, including alcohol, and behavioural addictions such as gambling.


Those it has helped include our founder Tony Adams MBE with his personal recovery from alcoholism. In short, if there was no Twelve-Step Recovery Program, there would be no Sporting Chance.


The 12 steps of recovery today are central to the work we do at our residential clinic for those suffering from addictive disorders.


At the Sporting Chance residential clinic for addiction, participants are introduced to the 12 steps and attend workshops and therapy session to help them begin to work through them. This sits alongside attending mutual aid meetings and various other therapy-based sessions while attending the clinic. They also have access to top of the range health and fitness facilities for the duration of their stay.


The twelve-step program is still the model for living suggested by mutual aid groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.


Research has shown that people who participate in 12-step programs are more likely to abstain from addictive substances or behaviours than those who do not. In addition, it is evidenced that attending meetings with other recovering addicts is an effective factor in successfully treating addiction. Sporting Chance offer recovery meetings for current and retired professional sportspeople.


12-step groups come with a ready-made support network of like-minded people at different stages of recovery, which has an enormous benefit to the individual member.





The 12 steps of recovery are based on spiritual concepts and their practice can be highly rewarding. The steps are:


1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of this power of our understanding.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to our higher power, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have these defects of character removed.

7. Humbly asked our higher power to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with a higher power of our own understanding, praying only for knowledge of its will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Professional sportspeople struggling with addiction or any other mental health issues are welcome to contact Sporting Chance - click here for details.


Information about Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous is also available at the above link.