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Interviews

COMMUNITY DAY | RICHARD HILLMAN

11 March 2022

"It’s something about being involved here which makes it a bit more special"

As part of the Club's annual Community Day, which this year takes place on Saturday, 12 March for the visit of Portsmouth, the Club's media team spoke to Richard Hillman.

Richard is a participant at the Trust's Walking Football sessions, which take place on the practice pitch at Portman Road on Mondays and Thursday.

A big advocate of talking openly about mental health, Richard spoke about the multiple benefits of attending the initiative that is led by Lee Smith, the Club's disability liaison officer.

"I absolutely love it," Richard said. "I get a lot out of it with the physical side and the social side of it as well. The benefits to your mental health and the social ones are just as beneficial as the physical ones, if not more so. 

"I’ve met a lot of good people and it's a great group of lads. Some of them have become good friends who I socialise with away from the football ground as well. 

"We started on the first of May last year as we were coming out of lockdown. For me, I just wanted something to get me out of the house a bit more. 

"A club like Ipswich need to be involved in the community. It’s good to be part of the Ipswich Town brand. It’s something about being involved here which makes it a bit more special. Lee has been amazing. He’s so positive about everything, not just with me but with the whole group."

Lee added: "Richard was very committed to the sessions from the start and he was very keen to get as much out of them as possible. 

"He's built up his confidence and he's told me on a number of occasions how it has helped him with his mental health, as well as his physical health.

"Richard is just one of the many participants who have shown what these sessions can do and how important it is to feel included and valued by the Club."

If anyone is interested in finding out more about the Walking Football programme, please contract Lee.smith@itfc.co.uk.

And for more information on the Club's Community Day this weekend, click here.

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