QUEENSCLIFF Football Netball Club has made a significant contribution towards supporting mental wellness through various fundraising efforts.
Last month the football club donated $3,333 for Read the Play, a mental health literacy program designed for the junior levels of sports clubs. They are also preparing to hand over a cheque of the same amount to another mental health support foundation, Beyond Blue, once lockdown restrictions have eased.
Club president Rowan Martin said it was a cause the players felt very strongly about after one of their much-loved players Lucas “Nivs” Niven took his own life in late 2018.
“Sadly, one of the young members of our club committed suicide and it affected the players a lot. They were keen to do something that would recognize him as a player and to recognise the silent condition and make something good out of a terrible situation,” Martin said.
“So, the football players got together and put together the Couta Calendar, with the boys in their birthday suits, and they raised a bit over $6,000. The understanding was they would donate half to read the play and the other half to Beyond Blue.
“The netball players had their own initiative, and that was the Laps for Life program. They would swim laps and people would sponsor them and they were able to raise a couple of thousand dollars that they were able to donate to Laps for Life.”
Late last year the club was also recognised by the Transport Accident Commissions (TAC) for their efforts promoting the Towards Zero campaign.
Martin said it was important to the club to have a positive influence off the field as well as on it.
“As the president, I take the view that our club needs to be a representation of the community,” he said.
“We want to set an environment that’s attractive for young people to play, for older people to come along and spectate, and for volunteers to be involved.”
Martin said this community-focused ethos had also affected how the club had dealt with the challenges posed by COVID-19.
“We rely upon our local community to support the club financially with sponsors. At this particular time, with COVID-19, and the dramatic impact it’s had on local business, we as a club have been very sensitive to that and essentially handed back a lot of sponsorship money. And indeed, a lot of sponsors and members have voluntarily donated because they just want to support the club. I think that’s a wonderful gesture and is reflective of the relationship the club has with the community.”
If you or someone you know needs support phone Lifeline 13 11 14, the Suicide Call Back Line on 1800 659 467, Mensline on 1300 789 978 or the Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.