Kidderminster Harriers have announced that national mental health and wellbeing charity, The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, have been appointed as the club’s first team shirt sponsor for the 2020/21 season.
The Kaleidoscope Plus Group’s sponsorship of the Harriers is designed to raise awareness about mental health, while also directing supporters to relevant services. A spokesperson for the charity said that the agreement was intended to allow The Kaleidoscope Plus Group to work with players from across all levels of football in the region.
Neil Male, Kidderminster Harriers CEO said: “We’re thrilled to have The Kaleidoscope Plus Group as our shirt sponsors for the season ahead. Mental health is still a huge stigma within the football community, even though it’s relevant to everyone in sport, even at the elite level.
“We want to work with players from the grassroots up to our first team, to educate them that it’s okay not to be okay. Communication is vital and we always encourage every member of the Kidderminster Harriers family to be open about their mental health and how they’re coping with the many challenges they face – The Kaleidoscope Plus Group being there to help is a huge part of that, which makes this a perfect partnership.”
Entwining mental health with football allows players to understand the importance of their wellbeing
– Monica Shafaq
Monica Shafaq, CEO of The Kaleidoscope Plus Group added: “Mental illness does not discriminate and the perception that those who have successful careers are exempt from being affected is wrong. The Kaleidoscope Plus Group is the first mental health charity to be supporting a National League club.
“Entwining mental health with football allows players to really understand the importance of their teammates’ wellbeing as well as their own and they will be prepared for the emotional pressures that they will inevitably face. Hopefully, they will also take this ethos with them whichever club they go to and in whichever league.
“This isn’t simply about being a sponsor. Our sponsorship is designed not only to raise awareness and encourage people to talk about mental health but also to signpost them to relevant services, something which larger and more high-profile campaigns often fail to do”
Frank Sinclair, former Chelsea defender and an ambassador for the charity, praised the club’s decision to work with The Kaleidoscope Plus Group. “At the end of the day, footballers are human beings,” Sinclair said: “They suffer with the same problems that any normal person would suffer with but it’s in the eye of the public, so there’s added pressure with that.”
Kidderminster are set to begin their National League North campaign on 3 October, with the Harriers set to face local rivals Leamington FC in the sixth tier of English football.