When we think of doping in sports, we imagine Olympians and cyclists. But doping is a problem at the grassroots level too. Not only do dopers gain an unfair sporting advantage over fellow competitors, they are seriously risking their own health. Doping is not exclusive to sports either: we now have a recreational fitness culture in which people will take dangerous substances to achieve desirable physiques.
We have been fortunate to be part of the Green Seal initiative. Green Seal is an international Erasmus group founded to tackle doping in grass roots sports. Through a collaborative process of research and communication we have developed a wide-ranging report at the behest of the EU. You can find a more comprehensive review of our findings on either the Green Seal website (greenseal.aepsad.gob.es) or on our own (pcst.org.uk).
So far, our video – Choose Life – has been the core instrument for our campaign. We were able to get famous Scottish actor and comedian Sanjeev Kohli to narrate it. Liz Clark also featured our campaign on Rock Sport FM to an audience of 27,000. The prevailing consensus was that doping is generally associated with professional sports, not grassroots sports. Further emphasising for us the important of the Green Seal Initiative.
Going forward, we are incredibly pleased to announce that we will be sponsoring the Glasgow & District League’s youth cups – under Green Seal’s name – for the next three years. This will directly introduce the Green Seal initiative to 4,700 young players alone. Putting our grassroots project into a grassroots environment where it should be.
Furthermore, we are in the process of securing funding to further disseminate our message. Our new project will be called Healthy Mind, Healthy Body: The PCST mental health and anti-doping education project.This project will aim to do two things: 1) Trial counselling sessions for our members in the aid of better mental health; and 2) Employ someone who has rehabilitated from doping to give talks to educate young people about their experiences. Stay tuned to hear more about Healthy Mind, Healthy body soon!