“Before SOHK I was nearly 21 stone, I’d had two heart attacks, I had lost my job, I was depressed, suicidal and I thought I was worthless.”

Shaun heard about SOHK’s adult programmes through a friend who worked with SOHK. Looking back, on his first day he dreaded going to the gym and he was doubtful about the course and about his own abilities. This didn’t last long however. Shaun soon went from barely managing 5 sets in the gym to being able to do 25-30 sets in a session. What’s more he lost 7.5 stone and began to regain his confidence.

“I’m from a rugby background but after an injury I thought I’d never play again.”

Shaun grew up playing rugby but after a severe injury he thought he would never get to play again. He was wrong about this too. After completing SOHK’s programme he was asked to join the Dragons Rugby team. It reminded Shaun of why he loved playing:

“That moment just before the game when we were listening to music...I felt like a kid again, so excited and energised…we would all die for each other on the pitch.”

By now Shaun was going to the gym everyday and a far cry from his initial negative feelings and thoughts he was actually looking forward to the gym. He was a happier person and his family life was much better.

Then Shaun was given the opportunity to do the SOHK for a second time.

“I had a chance to do it all again and I jumped in. SOHK saved my life.”

Before SOHK, Shaun felt useless and buried under a weight of responsibility that he didn’t know how to cope with. He didn’t want to burden his wife and family with it but this only made him feel increasingly helpless and trapped.

“Everything before was negative, like ‘I can’t do this’, I was jealous of other people and I didn’t feel good enough. I was at such a low point...I needed help and someone to speak to.”

However, major progress was made when Shaun was able to look to other people for support. The different people who came to SOHK inspired and pushed him on through encouragement and through their own successes. Within the course of the SOHK programme, Shaun’s confidence boomed and his whole perspective shifted.

“Now I can talk openly in front of people and they can be vulnerable back. SOHK is a release, somewhere I can be open.”

Shaun has a great comradeship with the boys he met at SOHK and they still meet up every week to support each other.

“SOHK has opened opportunities for me that I never would have thought of and sport has had a specific role in that.