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Norwich City hosts seminar to raise awareness of addiction and social media

28 March 2019

Norwich City hosted a seminar for parents of the Club’s Academy players on Thursday evening, with two panels of experienced guest speakers invited along to discuss addiction and social media.

The event held at Carrow Road was organised to demonstrate City's commitment to supporting players both on and off the pitch.

Parents of players between Under-9s to Under-23s age groups were invited along to listen to the two topics being discussed by a group of experts.

The evening began with an introduction from Norwich City Sporting Director Stuart Webber who presented an update on the Academy, as well as the lifestyle support events that have been organised for youngsters, to the parents in attendance.

He then handed over to the host for the evening, Community Sports Foundation trustee and broadcaster Jake Humphrey, who introduced the first three panellists.

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Former professional footballer Jeff Whitley kicked things off by talking through his issues with drugs, alcohol and gambling, along with Alex Mills who spoke about his work at the Sporting Chance clinic in helping footballers overcome certain issues.

City Academy coach Alan Neilson weighed in on the discussion as well, talking about his problems in the past with gambling and how he recovered from his issues.

That was followed by a discussion on social media and Humphrey was joined by Matt Law, a sports journalist from the Daily Telegraph newspaper, media lawyer Matt Himsworth and Sporting Director Stuart Webber.

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PDP Player Care Manager Clive Cook, who helped organised the event, said: "This is the second event we have put on this season. This one has centred around addictive behaviours and social media.

"It fits in perfectly with what we're doing at the Club for the players and it's also good for the house-parents, parents and staff to be made aware of this.

"For me, there are three key areas of people we need to work with. You can't hide behind the fact that addictive behaviours are an issue, as well as social media and the dangers that brings.

"The panellists brought some brilliant expertise along with them and I'm looking to bring in a programme next season which better supports the players with that and prevent them falling into those habits."

Himsworth, a respected media lawyer within the sporting industry, said: "This is a very forward-thinking club. The majority of the clients I work with are Premier League clubs, like Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City.

"This was the first kind of event I've ever been to. It shows how ambitious the Club is and how they want to do things differently. They want to look after people in their environment."

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