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Craigavon mental health charity to stage mixed soccer and American football match

"These events are crucial not only to raise awareness of our message and what we do, but also to bring communities together..."

A special football match with a twist is set to take place this Sunday in Portadown.

The ‘Battle of the Ball’ will be a half-football, half-American football match, held in line with Men’s Mental Health Week, with the aim of providing fun that’s just a little bit out of the ordinary.

The Craigavon Cowboys will be going up against Just A Chat FC – kicking off on June 9 at 2pm on the Brownstown 4G pitches.

Founded in 1985, the Craigavon Cowboys are one of the longest running American football clubs on the island and have recently announced Just A Chat as one of their charity partners for the year ahead.

Just A Chat are a Craigavon-based charity set up by local man Conor Hegarty and his wife in 2022, to help raise awareness and support for mental health issues in the ABC Borough – and sometimes further afield.

Alongside offering workshops to schools and clubs across Northern Ireland, the charity also launched a men’s football group, Just A Chat FC, which comprises over 60 members of all ages and abilities.

The charity recently celebrated its second anniversary, hosting a hugely successful fun day in Lurgan.

Speaking to Armagh I, Conor says the aim is to hold events that are different and appealing to everyone in the community, as the match will bring together two different sports in a fun and entertaining way.

Men’s Mental Health Week runs from Monday, June 10 to Sunday, June 16, and the event will be used to highlight the importance of looking after your mental health.

Said Conor: “We would encourage anyone struggling to find a local group that suits your interests and get involved as the physical and mental benefits are incredible.

“These events are crucial, not only to raise awareness of our message and what we do, but also to bring communities together to show how incredible the local groups and clubs are that we have on our doorstep. Additionally, we can guarantee there will be friendly faces and plenty of laughs!”

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