Alex the Active Bluebird 20-year-old Alex Davies was a participant on our Active Bluebirds Project, which helped young people overcome mental health barriers via sport. “I had a psychosis back in February and I was referred to the Cardiff City FC Community Foundation. “I’m a massive football fan and have a Cardiff City season ticket. The Cardiff City brand is what drew my attention when the course was recommended to me. “Since I’ve been here, the mentors and coaches have helped me a lot with my self-confidence and my communication skills have really improved by talking with other young people on the project.” When he initially joined the project, Alex was very timid and would struggle to interact with our coaches and other participants. However, Alex has now seen a development in himself, highlighted by the fact that he now volunteers at Barry Town Football Club and has recently joined the Bluebirds Charity's Post-16 Education courses. “It’s been life-changing. It’s completely different learning here. They treat you like an adult here and you play sport too. “When I was unwell I didn’t focus on my fitness so coming here and doing futsal helped. There’s more and more evidence that physical activity helps your mental health. “This has been life-changing for me because it’s motivated me and improved my confidence. They treat you like adults here.” Alex has also gone from not doing any exercise to playing futsal several times a week as well as playing for Cowbridge FC seniors and doing some coaching. He says being active while he learns has been key to his recovery from mental health problems. Students on the programme are encouraged to play futsal at the House of Sport at least three times a week, as well as playing competitive games, and most do.