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Erin McLeod’s The Mindful Project Joins Common Goal

Athlete High Performance Programme Pledges 1% of Profit to Drive Positive Social Impact

When Canadian Goalkeeper Erin McLeod joined Common Goal back in 2019, she did so upon the premise that “1% of your salary can literally change the lives of children around the world.”

More than a year later, while currently on loan to Icelandic outfit Stjarnan from NWSL club Orlando Pride, she’s exercising that same philosophy as co-founder of mindfulness initiative The Mindful Project.

Upon the launch of its High Performance programme today, designed for high-school, university, and professional athletes who want to take their performance to the next level, The Mindful Project will pledge 1% of all future earnings to Common Goal.

Founded last year alongside Dr Rachel Lindvall, a university professor and football coach who holds a doctorate in mindfulness research, The Mindfulness Project aims to help young people think positively and improve their confidence through mindfulness.

Dr Rachel Lindvall and Erin McLeod of The Mindful Project. Photo: Image Courtesy of The Mindful Project.

When the global pandemic struck, the duo developed a free programme designed to help young students and athletes manage stress and anxiety at home.

Following her involvement in inspiring fellow international teammates to join Common Goal, it marks yet another step in McLeod’s above-and-beyond commitment to the Common Goal movement – and to promoting social change through football.

Upon announcing their desire to pledge 1% of future earnings to Common Goal, we spoke to Erin McLeod to find out what The Mindful Project is all about and why the company has now decided to team up with Common Goal.

For those that don’t know, could you explain what The Mindful Project is and what its mission is?

The Mindful Project is about empowering students and athletes to reach their potential through mindfulness. Our High Performance programme is a combination of a personal development course with mindfulness geared towards people 15 years and older. It is about diving into the way your mind currently functions and putting attention into mental habits that add to your life.  There are multiple types of mindfulness offered in the program so that everyone can find the one that works best for them and then apply it to life, in and out of sport.

Why has The Mindful Project decided to join Common Goal?

Our goals align with Common Goal, we want to help young people find their voice, who they are, and give them the courage to be their authentic selves. In order to do that one must devote time to self-awareness and self-compassion. With both you can grow in a way that is more loving and fearless.  One thing that we love about sport is it encourages equality - on the soccer field we are all equals, in theory.  Common Goal, like us, recognises however that the true battle is off the field and to make a true difference, when it comes to social challenges, we all have to work together.  That's why the 1% is brilliant, it's about a lot of people working together towards a Common Goal, not just one or two.

With your 1% pledge, which social causes do you want to support and why?

Our intention is to support a cause that helps to empower young people, especially young women. Global Goal 5 Accelerator, for example, would be a great cause because it promotes gender equality. In Canada and the USA (where Dr. Rachel Lindvall is from) women have a lot more respect than in so many other places in the world, and for that I think I'm very fortunate.  But because of that I also firmly believe women in other places in the world deserve that same treatment. It isn't enough to accept equality in one part of the world when it doesn't exist in others.

As a Common Goal member already, why was it important to you that The Mindful Project would also contribute 1%?

I believe in The Mindful Project, our research already shows those who use it experience twice the quality of life than those who don't, and a significant decrease in stress.  We want to make a change and empower young people and want to align ourselves with others that do as well, joining Common Goal, therefore, becomes a very easy decision.

What would you say to other businesses/organisations who are thinking about joining Common Goal?

That it is a small pledge that makes a big difference - it is really the beginning of a journey.  When we realise we can make a difference, we have more desire to make that difference.

Photos: Images courtesy of Getty Images & The Mindful Project.