Billy Mansell ambassador photo 2
Sport: Disability/Inclusion Football, Cycling
District: Southend
Profile

All my life I have been passionate about sport and physical activity, when I was younger I competed in various sports at high levels and loved it. I competed and coached until I was 20 and also achieved a level 3 extended Diploma in Sports Coaching, Development and Fitness. I was then diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME and Post Traumatic Migraine Disorder, these diagnoses changed my life, for the first 2 and a half years I struggled to manage my health. This had led to giving up my career within Forensic Investigation and seeking a new path that will be relevant and beneficial to my lifestyle. I also at this stage gave up my involvement in sports due to my health and not being able to manage it.

Two and a half years after diagnoses (7 months ago) I came off all medication. I chose that for the sake of my long-term health I would start a Multi-Disciplinary approach for day to day health management securing myself a healthier future. Cycling, Walking, daily exercise routines, stretching techniques, different coping mechanisms and a healthy diet helps me manage my conditions like the way I was when on medication, however my body is going to be healthier in the long term due to not being on this medication.

I have been participating in Inclusion Football for Southend Soccability FC and helping as an extra volunteer coach where needed. I aim to build more partnerships to create a dedicated Fibromyalgia – CFS/ME football team to compete within inclusion football, with me being a member of that team. I would like to try other sports/activities and aim to compete at the highest levels I can reach. I also aim to go into the cycling side more.

I am a Fibromyalgia Campaigner too, the aim of this is to campaign for better research, treatment, support, education and recognition. Alongside trying to help bring a community together, my efforts I hope can one day be put towards research, as it seems that a multi-disciplinary approach is now being used more in general practice. Thai Chi also being a new approach which I would love to try and encourage others to try here in Essex too. I also aim to do training videos, guides (booklets), seminars etc. when the appropriate foundation is set for all.

Having to give up sport when I did was the hardest thing I ever had to do, when I first went back to sport I found hope and was inspired by the effort I saw people put in for something they love and enjoy. This has made me not only want to participate, but also help inspire others to participate and compete within different events/ projects. Everyone deserves the opportunity to participate and also have the opportunity to compete and take great life skills for health management in the process.