Jermaine Pennant – How Did an ADHD Diagnosis Help?

As part of Neurodiversity Celebration Week we had the privilege of speaking to Jermaine Pennant about his ADHD diagnosis. We delved into the realm of neurodiversity in football and what Jermaine’s journey looked like. In this webinar, we delve into the intricate dynamics of neurodiversity within the football landscape, exploring how conditions such as ADHD shape the experiences of players and coaches. We look at the skill sets ADHD brings and the challenges neurodivergent footballers might encounter.

Jermaine, originally starting his career at Notts County, made headlines in 1999 when he joined Arsenal as a schoolboy for a groundbreaking £2 million. Despite his early success, he faced challenges both on and off the field due to a tumultuous childhood. However, in April 2022, he received a diagnosis of ADHD, shedding light on his struggles. Since then, Jermaine has dedicated himself to advocating for greater awareness of neurodiversity and mental health issues, utilising his platform to promote understanding and support.

Check out the webinar which we’ve posted on our YouTube channel.

Neurodiversity in Football with Jermaine Pennant and Caroline Turner

Jermaine said: “Now I have my diagnoses it’s made me understand why I behaved in certain ways in the past. Unfortunately, at the time I was playing professional football, there was very little awareness of ADHD, particularly in adults, which meant my behaviour played out in the media as me being a bad person. Although awareness of neurodiversity in sport is better, there still a long way to go to remove stigma and barriers and create an environment where footballers and other sportspeople feel comfortable enough to disclose their diagnoses or ask for help. This webinar along with my other work will hopefully start some of those discussions.”

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