Firewalkers hot footed it to Mansfield Woodhouse sports club fundraiser

Fundraisers blazed a trail to a Mansfield Woodhouse sports centre for a daring evening of firewalking.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 1:15 pm

The Debdale Park Sports Club invited people to take part in a sponsored challenge to walk bare foot across a path of red hot coals.

The toe-curling event on Friday, October 8, raised funds for the Muted charity which helps men cope with depression to help prevent suicide. It also supports their friends and families.

The firewalk was the second at the club, along with other fundraising and memorial events, marking several deaths by people with connections to the club this year.

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A fire walk held at Debdale Park Sports Club

Ian Hastings, who founded the Nottingham-based charity, said the firewalk had ‘parallels’ with learning how to cope with depression.

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He said: “Around a dozen people took part, many felt very anxious about doing it. There was a lot of hesitancy, some were saying I don’t think I can do this!” He said.

“Overcoming that fear is a bit like how you challenge negative thoughts. With a bit of a chat beforehand, about technique, the firewalkers learned how to approach the problem.

Fire walkers dare to cross the hot coals in bare feet.

"They were able to overcome thoughts that they would get burnt and walked briskly over the coals, afterwards they were elated to realise they’d beaten their fears.

"They took away all sorts from the experience, imagine how many other things they think are impossible. Sometime our thoughts are worse than what is really happening.”

Ian, who set up Muted in 2013, said: "We help men, because they are not so good at talking about their issues, showing emotions, or reaching out for help or even knowing how to support their mates when they struggle, women are much better at it.”

The Debdale club also holds a free mental health football game, every Monday from 8pm.

Shelene Bailey, centre manager, said “We organise Men’s Mental Health nights on a Monday, it’s free and people don’t need to book.

“We say bring yourself, bring a mate who may be suffering. Mondays are hard after the weekend, the last place these guys need to be is in a pub drowning more sorrows, so we organised an event where they could let off steam. It’s a great turn out and Muted are available once a month to offer support.”

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