SAMH is privileged to have had the support of Britain’s most celebrated Olympian, Sir Chris Hoy, since 2009.
In that time Sir Chris has devoted many hours to raising awareness of and funds for SAMH and the mental health cause.
Ten years ago, I met the team at SAMH and knew that I could do something to bring attention to the issue of mental health. It was simply not talked about in the way it is today. Throughout my life I have benefitted from the positive impact of physical activity on my mental health and wellbeing. Yet, I also know the devastating impact poor mental health can have on a person, their family and friends. I am so proud to have spent the last decade supporting the cause as SAMH’s Ambassador.
Sir Chris Hoy, SAMH Ambassador
Back in 2010, Sir Chris Hoy launched our first national physical activity and sport programme, Get Active, and since then Sir Chris has helped us launch several national campaigns, been a guest of honour at fundraising dinners and has spent time with the SAMH team and the people that we support.
Here's just a snapshot of the ways Sir Chris has supported SAMH over the years.
In 2013, Sir Chris visited SAMH’s Redhall Walled Garden, meeting with staff and trainees who benefit from therapeutic horticulture. That day Chris helped launch a new partnership between SAMH and scottishathletics.
Sir Chris proudly supported SAMH during his appearance on the last ever (at the time) ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ in 2014, and when he was out at the Rio Olympic Games.
Scaling a wall at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena in 2015, Sir Chris unveiled a 20 foot banner launching ‘Give Mental Health a Sporting Chance’. The campaign marked the launch of two new SAMH programmes; ALBA, a physical activity-focused, behaviour change intervention project, and PACE, a project aimed at increasing the representation and participation of people with mental health problems in sport and physical activity.
2016 saw Sir Chris lead a stigma busting ‘Walk a Mile’ event at Murrayfield stadium, walking side by side with carers, health professionals, and people with lived experience of mental health problems.
Sir Chris joined forces with Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty in 2018 to urge sport clubs across the country to encourage more people to get physically active to improve their mental wellbeing. This event was in support of Scotland’s Mental Health Charter for Physical Activity and Sport.
Scotland’s Mental Health Charter for Physical Activity and Sport, funded by Comic Relief, encourages physical activity and sporting communities from grassroots to the elite level to incorporate mental health into their strategies to make sport more accessible to people with mental health problems.
To mark World Mental Health Day 2019, Sir Chris helped launch a new SAMH partnership with sportscotland at Tynecastle High School in Edinburgh. The new initiative aims to help the next generation of young people protect their mental health through physical activity and sport.
Active Schools Coordinators will benefit from SAMH mental health training, learning practical ways of monitoring and managing mental health through their work in schools across the country.
Later that day we also celebrated ten years of support from Sir Chris with a great fundraising dinner, and thanks to our generous supporters we were able to raise £50,000 for Scotland’s mental health. We couldn’t be more thankful for everything that he does!
Watch our film to find out why Sir Chris supports SAMH and mental health.
To request high-res images of Sir Chris Hoy for media use please email the communications team: email@example.com or call: 0141 530 1000.