Opinion: Seeing your team lose 5-0 can have health benefits

With Covid restrictions easing, I never thought I'd be so excited to see sport returning.

Local clubs like Pagham will need plenty of local support once fans return to grounds / Picture: Roger Smith
Local clubs like Pagham will need plenty of local support once fans return to grounds / Picture: Roger Smith

Luckily, in one of my media roles, I've had the privilege of attending professional football games all season whether that be Reading, Bournemouth, Portsmouth or a fixture at U23 or in the Women's Super League.

Sport and fitness is key in many of our lives. And it's amazing how the lack of physical activity or social interaction can have on your mental well-being. I felt I've suffered at not being able to attend the gym. I'm not obsessed with it from a physical point of view but taking it away from me made me feel sad mentally. Feeling good within yourself is so important.

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The other side of things I had missed was the personal interaction. Yes us media people discuss, rant and question all sorts in a press box inside a stadium at two metres with a mask on - but it's not the same as in a pub.

I walked past my local pub this week and somebody I know was sitting outside. I stopped, said I hadn't time for a pint after a two-minute conversation - and then four pints later had discussed football from local level to the Premier League. And I went home without the shopping I went out to get! Now I know why I am divorced...

There's a lot of sport on television and radio, it makes you think you don't need to leave the sofa. But life is short and if you can get out on a Saturday afternoon or a Tuesday evening to watch your local sport, then please let's think about our clubs and ourselves - whether that's through paying on the turnstile to see your local team lose 5-0 or getting yourself out and active within a new sport.

The effect it has on you mentally to be out and about is vital to your well-being. And there's a lot of people attending events that would love the chat over a beer on how your team's goalkeeper couldn't catch a cold!

A face for radio

A month ago I started presenting a new sports show on V2 Radio based in Chichester, covering Sussex. It's been a long time since I have covered sport close to home. We're into our fifth weekly show and at the moment it's a learning curve as to the format and getting it right for the listener.

We usually have three guests a week that have included Observer sports editor Steve Bone, who discusses the local top sporting stories with me and Bognor Regis Town FC head coach Robbie Blake on his time as a Premier League player and life at Bognor - through to guests discussing the benefits of martial arts and local cricket.

We've also covered running, horse racing and motorsport. It's more of a magazine feature show so you'll find out anything from how Goodwood put on their events to how a football manager signs a player.