The Inspirational Journey of our Founder Manuel Benages

The story of Athletic Minds Foundation starts with our founder’s own struggles in life.

Throughout his childhood and growing up Manuel Benages faced almost every possible struggle you can imagine – Manuel suffered depression, abuse, he found himself being locked up in a care facility with no access to school, he had no father figure, he grew up with all the trails and tribulations of an alcoholic and depressive mother, he underwent a harrowing experience of finding his best friend tragically hanging by his neck after he had taken his own life, shortly followed by the tragic death of his own brother from an accidental overdose.

Manuel’s coping mechanisms of drink and drugs did not work and he often contemplated suicide himself as the best way out.

But then something changed. From the darkest despair came hope.

From being on the very verge of becoming that next suicide statistic, Manuel found, with the help of others, a fresh way to look at life. He saw the light and what happened next is best described in his own words.

“When you go through something in life and come out the other side, when you know what that darkness feels like before seeing the light, you then just want to help everybody”

“At least that’s how I felt. But the problem is you just can’t practically and physically help everybody - you are just one person and as single human beings we simply don’t have enough personal time to devote to helping everybody.”

“That’s where my idea for the charity came from - I simply wanted to help others, and by packaging what I had learned and what had worked for me, I thought I may be able to assist other people dealing with struggles.”

And that’s how one man started it all

His starting point consisted of no funding, no savings, no premises, no team and no university education or charity experience to draw upon.

A wise man once told Manuel

“We can’t always do it on our own”, and that we just need a bit of support to deal with life. Manuel has carried that mantra forward with him while building up the Athletic Minds Foundation, resolutely determined to be that support for people who need it.

As Manuel says

“We will support you in all areas, wherever it is you need to be”.

“I don’t believe anyone should suffer in silence”

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