The kit of your local team is always more than just another item of sportswear: it represents a sense of shared history, identity, local area and, most importantly, community. Clubs like Queen of the South FC, but not only, have chosen to use this symbol of belonging to deliver a very important message.
For the 2022/23 season, the club, which plays in League One (the third tier of Scottish football), is using its third match kit to combat rising rates of depression and suicide among the most numerous demographic of its fan base, that of men under the age of 45.
“We wanted people to understand that there is a way to get help and we are here to support that.” explains Dan Armstrong, Commercial Manager of Queen of the South FC, “They are not alone and their difficulties can be faced down with the help of the club and the entire community of which they are part.” ‘In it together’ was the message chosen to accompany the launch of the new kit, the design of which clearly conveys the fact that anybody can fall prey to mental health problems.
“The shirt is black,” Armstrong continues, “the shorts are black, the socks are black. Not just mostly black, but totally black. Our sponsors and even our club badge have been blacked out too. The only thing instantly visible is a white QR code that will take the user to an online resource for help. Queen of the South FC is a true community. We may not agree about everything but we all share a common passion for football and for the club. That’s why we’re all ‘in it together’.”
The kit was unveiled by Queen of the South FC on October 10, 2022, World Mental Health Day, accompanied by a video emphasising the message and inviting anybody in need to open up and seek help.