Southmead Stories: The Power Of Sport

With the Olympics in full swing, this week we’re telling a story a day of local men who are part of sports groups in Southmead. They explain to us the positive impact that being part of a team has upon their lives and how sport makes them feel good, both physically and mentally.


Ron ‘Moey’ Ford – Southmead Rugby Club

Today we’re talking to ‘Moey’; U14’s coach and ‘general dogsbody’ to Southmead Rugby Cub. He’s been there from the very beginning – 22 years ago – when it was started up to help kids who were getting into trouble with crime or just didn’t have anything else to do. Here he talks about how the club, built up from 7 kids to 100, has changed his life.

So Moey, what does being part of Southmead FRC mean to you?

For the last 30 years, it’s been my life and it’s really helped me. In the last 4 years I’ve had a lot of grief in my life. I lost my wife 3 years ago and lost my son last July. This place has really kept me going – the people have been so supportive.

What are the kids like?

​The kids have been fantastic. When we’re playing games and they win – the feelings of pride! They make me cry every Sunday…I could cry now just thinking about it. They are so committed. They are here without fail. They absolutely love it here. They play together and they’re still best friends. They are so tied together.

Did playing rugby help you manage the everyday stresses of life?

If you’ve got stuff going on, it’s all gone isn’t it? You take it all out on the pitch. You think to yourself, ‘he’s going’ and you hit him as hard as you can hit him…a fair tackle, but as hard as you can hit him.

​What are the benefits of playing sport?

The comradery, do you know what I mean? The friends I played with are still my friends now. You’ve played all those years together and you’ve got so many memories.

It’s clear how much the club means to Moey and the part that it plays in his life. He tells us what’s next for the club – their first under 14s tournament is coming up and they will soon be running coaching sessions in local schools. With the club growing in the local area, watch this space for more developments. You may even end of bumping into Moey and others from the club out and about in the Southmead soon!

For more information about Southmead Rugby Club, contact Moey on 07833 160 095.


Exercise ​is great for our physical health, but also does wonders for our mental wellbeing too. Getting active makes us feel good, giving us a boost in energy and helping improve our mood, manage stress and improve sleep quality.

Sometimes however, we do struggle and things can feel overwhelming. It’s goods to know what’s out there to provide help and support if this is the case. Check out the websites below for information, advice and services when you may need it.

If you run a sports group and would like more information about how to look out for the mental wellbeing of your team, contact Letty on or call 07400 118 625. For more information about CASS visit

L​isten in to BBC’s Radio Bristol on Saturday 20th August at 9.30am to hear an interview with two of Southmead’s sportsmen as part of this campaign!