Tommy Crawford

The Medicine Ball Challenge

Even in 2021, there is still a significant stigma attached to mental health problems, including stress, anxiety, PTSD and Depression. I am taking on the Medicine Ball challenge to help break these stigmas and get people talking about their mental health. It's ok to speak up and say i'm not ok.

The challenge involves cuffing a 3kg Medicine Ball to my wrist for 7 days. It may not sound that heavy but being tied to the medicine ball continuously for 7 days is a significant burden. The ball becomes a physical, visual and tangible representation of the invisible burden of mental health so many of us can experience.

The challenge raises money for the following charities. Any support you can offer will be gratefully received and split evenly between the causes.

ABF The Soldiers' Charity

Combat Stress

My Updates

Last day

My last day involved sending a lot of emails and making dinner for my mum. A fairly relaxed day but I was looking forward to the opening parade of the detachment. I was so glad to take it off for the last time, the cadets had gave me a loud applause and I felt humbled. I was just hoping that, despite all the messages from adults over the last week, that they could find the courage to speak.

Ironing kit

Prepping for my detachment parade nights involve ironing kit and I can say that this was an effort. Don't worry, safety first!


Been out shopping, finishing getting Christmas presents and i've definitely been feeling the burden this placed on every day tasks.....even though I left it in the house today by accident to get some presents! But it made me think that mental health issues could come and go, just like leaving the ball at home.

Rugby training

Day 4 into the challenge and it was back to rugby training. Tonight's training was a little different with Ulster, Ireland and Lions legend Stephen Ferris was there to watch us train and interview the coaches.

First day at work

I had started work, obviously explaining to the staff what I had started the challenge. They were very supportive and had explained that they know people struggling, mainly men. The conversation then focused on the issues surrounding mental health amongst men. A lady approached me and asked why I was carrying the medicine ball, after telling her she then told me she was struggling with her mental health. I explained I was encouraging people to speak out and she had told me she is going to speak with a friend and I had inspired her too. I was humbled by our conversation and I knew I hadade a difference to someone that day.

Challenge started!

Tonight I began my challenge during my detachment parade, and I plan to finish during next week's detachment parade. I spoke with my cadets about the stigmas and issues surrounding mental health and the reasons for me taking part in this challenge. By doing this I hope that many young people are encouraged to speak out about any issues they may have and to make changes to become more resilient.

Thank you to my Sponsors


Darren Smylie

Darren Smylie cash donation


Lynda Mahood



Mark Henderson

My pleasure Tommy


Shirley Montgomery

Very worthy cause Tommy, great effort!


Tracy Lamirande

Good work, Tommy!


Steven Magill

Good luck Tommy 👍 for a good cause well done


Paula Ives

Good Luck! I no you can do it! 😁😁


Ben Campbell

Good lad Tommy keep up the good work raising awareness


Chelsea Wood

You got this! #teamwhitehouse

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