As part of our Sixth Form Lecture Series, our pupils welcomed Patrick Foster, a former first-class professional English Cricket player, who delivered a powerful speech regarding his battle with addiction to gambling.
Patrick spoke openly and honestly to our pupils about his gambling addiction and how it almost took his life. He discussed the many highlights and positives of being a professional cricketer. He also raised awareness surrounding the negative impacts of being a professional sportsman, such as constantly wanting to feel the exhilaration of winning, and gambling was one way he could feel this other than winning in matches.
He projected to the world that he was a hard-working teacher, a professional cricketer, and a strong partner to his girlfriend; however, for 13 years, he lived a double life and struggled with gambling.
After almost losing his life to issues surrounding his gambling debts, he reached out to his friend, who sent him a message he would never forget and decided that reaching out for help was the best thing he could do. After speaking to his friends and family, he decided to enter rehab for three months, and this changed his life for the better.
He spoke to the pupils about what he had learnt while in rehab and after coming out as we as the strategies he continues to use to maintain and promote his continuing mental and physical health.
His last message to the pupils was, ‘Mental health is just as important as Physical Health – we need to treat them the same way.’ and ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’.