Shrewsbury Town Football Club and Beyond The White Line (BTWL) have today announced a partnership which will see BTWL deliver off the pitch support to the club’s senior squad, staff and academy.
The club will be working closely with BTWL initially helping academy players across crucial areas including mental health, dealing with abuse and discrimination, education, financial wellbeing and career pathways.
The Shrews are the first Sky Bet League One club to partner with BTWL, a not-for-profit organisation created to tackle the challenges athletes and stakeholders face throughout and beyond their professional careers. BTWL will provide access to information, smart individualised curation and best-in-class free to all resources around mental and physical wellbeing, education, organisation, country, or continent with no financial barrier to access.
While the club has a strong safeguarding operation in place across all levels, this partnership will see the addition of all players and staff having unique access to the only NHS-approved mental health app that is focused on the prevention and early detection of common mental health conditions, fully funded by BTWL, and powered by Thrive.
Currently available to over 3.5 million users globally, the app gives access to external support services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as well as the option to speak to a clinically led therapist within seconds via text-based chat service. The app also carries over 100 hours of content to help keep its users well and tackle any common stressors such as sleep or health issues.
James Chiffi, founder of Beyond The White Line: “Shrewsbury Town and CEO Brian Caldwell were one of the first in the country to recognise the importance of the work we do, taking a proactive approach to ensuring this partnership was seen through.”
“As I’ve previously mentioned, I have seen a seismic shift in attitudes over the past two years towards the wellbeing of athletes. It was, and in some cases sadly still is, seen as a tick-box exercise with many focused on performance and profit over people. Understanding the importance of the human first approach shouldn’t be overlooked. As an independent, external party we ensure that the staff and players have access to important resources and support. Shrewsbury have been clear from the beginning that it’s integral to get this off-field plan in place as much as it is on the pitch.
“It is well documented that athlete wellbeing and performance are not separate. If we look after people away from the pitch, then everything from performance to longevity of career can benefit as a result. Huge thanks to Brian and the whole team, Shrewsbury will always be one of our founding partners. We look forward to changing the game for generations to come and impacting those we serve today.”
Brian Caldwell, Chief Executive at, Shrewsbury Town FC added: "We have been very impressed with the work that Beyond the White Line does to help people involved in the sports industry. We want to support James and his team in any way we can and also utilise their services. I would encourage all sports staff and organisations to get involved."