Middleton teenager to raise football kit funds by challenging his self-confidence with sponsored horse ride

Date published: 07 September 2021

A Middleton teenager is hoping to raise £250 for new football kit with a sponsored horse ride.

Braydon Coe, 13, plays for the U14s at Middleton Colts Football Academy and is hoping to raise funds for new kit and equipment for Athletico Middleton with a series of rides.

The teenager says that horses have given him the confidence to become part of a football team and that he 'wouldn’t be where he is today' without them after struggling with his mental health from the tender age of nine.

Braydon said: “My struggles began in primary school where I had problems staying focused, struggling with change, hyperactivity and depression.

“There is limited support available which makes it harder for you to be eligible for any kind of assessments or support. One in 10 children suffer with some kind of mental health issues; this includes depression, anxiety, and behaviour issues.”

Braydon added that studies show a large percentage of children who experience mental health issues have not had 'the appropriate support at an age where it matters most'.

“This is where my journey with horses began,” he continued. “Horses can be a huge benefit when working with those with mental health issues. Being around and working with horses can help build confidence, communication skills, trust, social skills, impulse control and also learn boundaries. They help to reduce stress, anxiety and depression; they increase happiness levels.”

“As a herd animal, horses can sense the feelings of others and have a calming influence. They have become the most popular form of therapy as they give instant feedback to their handler or rider; they have the ability to mirror the feelings of the handler or rider.

“By understanding a horse's emotions, you are able to begin to understand your own emotions and how to respond to them.”

To challenge his self-confidence and anxiety, Braydon is planning to carry out a 10-mile canal and road hack, plus cross-country to challenge his fear of open spaces before finishing with his preferred activity of jumping.

Braydon added: “Put me in a jumping arena and I am in my element; take me out of my comfort zone and my anxiety and self-doubt creeps in.

“A 10-mile canal and road hack will be from our yard and finish at my home. I know my anxiety levels will raise and my confidence will drop but by putting myself out of my comfort zone hopefully my confidence levels will grow.

“My biggest fear is open spaces and the chance to fall off in them. For the benefit of the sponsored ride, I’m going to put aside my biggest fear and give cross-country a go at Somerford.”

He concluded: “And seeing as I’m putting myself out of my comfort zone, I thought I could do something I enjoy, a two-hour jumping session with my two main jumping horses, Rose and Sunny.”

To donate, please visit GoFundMe.

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