As part of the partnership Basketball Ireland will be making a donation to Jigsaw, as well as aiding fundraising for the charity.
A series of initiatives are planned over the coming year as part of the collaboration, to help players, coaches, schools, clubs and international sides. Basketball Ireland are in conversations with a charity partner in Northern Ireland and more information on this will be disclosed in due course.
Speaking at the launch Ireland senior men’s captain Ciaran Roe said: “I am honoured to be an ambassador for this partnership with Jigsaw. Mental health is so important in modern society, with young people going through so much at the moment, particularly with the difficulties of Covid-19 and how it has affected everyone’s daily lives. I want people to know there is help and support out there and that they can reach out.”
Ireland senior women’s international and partnership ambassador Sorcha Tiernan, a U18 European silver medallist and U20 European bronze medallist, added: “Young people need to look after their mental health and the service that Jigsaw provides is invaluable. I am delighted to see a partnership like this, to spread awareness and help those who may be struggling.”
Paul Kelleher, Ireland U18 men’s coach, is also a partnership ambassador and he welcomed the initiative. “Working with teams at international and club level, along with my job as a guidance councillor, I see the pressures that young people experience. This association between Basketball Ireland and Jigsaw is a welcome one.”
Jigsaw gives advice and support both online and in-person to young people across Ireland aged 12-25. They have a prevention and early intervention approach and believe in the collective role of communities in supporting youth mental health.
Jigsaw CEO Dr. Joseph Duffy said: “This is a such a wonderful opportunity for us to work together with Basketball Ireland on such a mutually beneficial partnership. One that engages, excites and involves the entire basketball community from their international squads, to the clubs, players, coaches, families and communities in helping us address a critical area for us all, our young people’s mental health”.
Bernard O’Byrne, CEO of Basketball Ireland, added: “Jigsaw’s work throughout Ireland has impressed us and we want to partner with them effectively. Physical activity like basketball is great for mental health, but it doesn’t stop there. This Basketball Ireland partnership with Jigsaw will help highlight the resources out there for those in the basketball community and beyond.”