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Page last updated at 16:48 GMT, Thursday, 30 July 2009 17:48 UK

Hull players find their Headroom

Patricia Almond
Patricia Almond tells all while some muscles get unwound on the table

After giving their all on the pitches, one of the most popular areas of the Festival zone in Hull was the massage table in the BBC Headroom tent.

With a collection of bean bags and chill-out CDs, it forms part of a project hoping to get young people to take time out to look after their mental health.

"In Cardiff we had lots of people coming up to see us and its been the same here," explained Patricia Almond.

"It helps us reach young men who are a really important group for us.

"They tend to come in full of bravado, but find that the massage, often the first one they have ever had, really relaxes them and they then open up about what stresses them out in their lives."

Catch-22's Connor Caines certainly agreed after climbing off the table.

"Beautiful. It was the first professional, proper massage I have had," he said.

"I strained my back picking up a football earlier today, but it has definitely helped it.

Sasch Brook
Sasch Brook takes us through the Hull FC first team

"I had a listen to the CDs as well. They have a guy talking to you on them and it really does help unravel your mind."

There was also a strong local flavour to the day with local rugby league, boxing and basketball clubs all represented.

Sasch Brook was not letting Hull FC's recent derby defeat to local rivals Hull Kingston Rovers dent his enthusiasm for recruiting new supporters and players.

"There are plenty of local Hull lads in the first team at FC and that is something we are really proud of," he said.

"We have a system of junior clubs through which players can graduate through a scholarship process into the academy and into the senior side."

Lyndon Corney and Rose Brebner of the Hull Saints Boxing club were introducing their sport with pads and punchbags taking a pounding.

"I've been boxing for two and a half years now, ever since I saw Rocky!" said Lyndon.

"Hopefully we'll see some of these guys and girls down the club over the next few weeks."

Coach Neil Kelsey of the Hull Stingers Basketball club was also pleased to have such a receptive audience to showcase to.

Rachel Green and Neil Kelsey
Rachel Dixon receives her reward for 1-on-1 victory from coach Neil Kelsey

"Everyone knows Hull as a football and rugby city, but there are some great individuals here. Sometimes that gets forgotten about with us being stuck at the end of the M62," he said.

"An event like this is great for us. It brings it all together with the funding providers and the young people."

Jane Thompson of Hull Community and Voluntary Services was on hand at the event to explain how worthy local projects could get some crucial local backing.

"We meet each month to consider applications for funding. We normally get around eight to twelve applications and the average amount we award is £3500," she said.

"But even if an application is not successful we always feed back to talk to projects about why they did get an award and there is no limit to the number of times they can try for funding."



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