A YOKER football team bagged their first Munro in a bid to tackle the stigma around mental health.

Players, coaches and parents from Yoker Athletic 2006s climbed to the top of Ben Lomond on July 3.

One of the team’s sponsors for the season is Mountains for the Mind, which promotes the benefits of being outside for better mental health.

The boys are also being backed by Kindness Homeless Street Team, based in Glasgow, which assists homeless and vulnerable people within the city.

Coach Brian Sinclair explained why the team decided to take on the challenge.

He told the Post: “We’re big on trying to raise awareness of mental health at Yoker Athletic 2006s.

“We chat to the boys and ensure that they know they can speak out if there is going on in their lives, and there are places they can go to for support if they need it.

“A lot of the boys on the team are from Clydebank, so they are fortunate that they have the Kilpatrick Hills close to them.

“We encourage them to get out and be active in the open air, rather than just sit at a computer.

“The hike aimed to raise awareness for the boys and the parents too, and to put across the message that getting out and about is good for the mind and for mental health.

“The boys have a mixed level of fitness, but every single one of them made it to the summit.

“We only had four players in the squad that didn’t take part and that was actually because they were injured.

“It was a good day out and there were about five or six parents there too.”

Brian said the pandemic had had a big impact on the squad.

He added: “At the very start of the pandemic, football was obviously cancelled and when they were able to return to training the boys were so happy and overjoyed.

“We had a really fit football team pre-Covid, but when the pandemic kicked in there was a big difference in the boys because they hadn’t been out doing their usual exercise.”

The squad have also been invited to Glasgow to learn more about homelessness in the city centre.

Brian said: “The boys have been asked by the Kindness Homeless Street Team to go to George Square and get an education on homelessness to try and break the stigma.

“It will be an eye-opener for them to see the work the organisation does.

“I think it’s important that they are grounded. We’ve got boys from both poor and affluent backgrounds and it’s important that they understand what potentially could happen if their lives were different.”