A PE teacher has set up a podcast to help young people talk about mental health and the role it plays in sports, as the Paralympics launches.

Jack Barlow, of Philips High in Whitefield, has set up the Philips' Positivity Podcast, to share mental health tips and talk about the importance of physical education.

He decided to start the podcast last year after being appointed welfare lead at the school and experiencing his own mental health struggles for the first time during lockdown.

He said: “Around a year ago, when I couldn’t do the things I love to do, like going to the gym and being active, and I felt things I’d never felt before.

“That made me want to reach out to parents and pupils who might be experiencing the same thing.”

Jack was inspired to take up a career in teaching by his own PE teacher at Woodhey High School, Mr Turner.

Jack said: “I’m amazed by all the positive feedback I’ve had from everyone, especially parents and teachers and the response has been fantastic, I couldn’t have asked for better. The podcast is all about removing the stigma around mental health and encouraging young people to come forward with their issues.

“We need to understand that feeling down or anxious at times is normal, because we have all been there, but there comes a point when you need to talk to someone about it.”

Jack added: “From a young age, I always loved sports and playing football and realised how important it is.

“The sad thing these days is that not enough children experience that, because they’re at home, either playing on their Xbox or on social media, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic.

“When I started teaching, I was very surprised by how few children were involved in sport and that’s something I am looking to change.”

To listen to Jack’s podcast, visit: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-philips-positive-podcast/id1534832191

Alternatively, you can listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5l0JSWkC8qiL1b0oXORbll.