2018 saw one of the most significant investments ever seen in player’s mental health and wellbeing in football and netball clubs in the AFL Yarra Ranges. This year, in the 16 days of activism to end violence against women, there is cause to celebrate the level of change and support being driven from the grass roots in the sporting clubs of the AFL Outer East.
AFL Outer East Regional Manager, Aaron Bailey said,“This is a one of a kind of initiative, we want to ensure that our community clubs are supportive of mental health and that they are great places to be for everyone including girls and women. SALT provide a unique opportunity for clubs to reflect on their culture and values and make sure they are creating healthy and supportive environments for the whole community.”
Scott Couglan from the Wandin Junior Football Club said, “ The SALT training was excellent for our kids. The topics covered were relevant and informative, whilst the presenters were engaging and approachable.”
The Leading for Change initiative was established by four project partners – AFL Outer East, Eastern Health – Health Promotion, Sport and Life Training Foundation and Yarra Valley Water.
Pat McCafferty, Managing Director of Yarra Valley Water said, “We are very proud to get behind this initiative. Mental health is just as important as physical health and it’s important that this message is reinforced at a community level, which is where most people start to play sport.”
Eastern Health have provided referral and support pathways at the 26 sessions delivered by SALT, (Sport and Life Training) to nine football and netball clubs in the region. “SALT have a great reputation amongst football and netball clubs in the AFL Outer East and Eastern Football League,”
“Their sessions are interactive, informative and they challenge people to look beyond what’s happening at face value and see the importance of their own mental and physical health and maintaining healthy and respectful relationships,” said Josette O’Donnell – Senior Health Promotion Officer at Eastern Health.
Carissa Rash, the key presenter for the sessions ; Strong is the New Pretty, Wellbeing and Mental Health and Crossing the Line, said the following “The SALT sessions allow women to have significant conversations in a safe environment, which is very empowering. SALT is constantly receiving feedback that our sessions are positively impacting young girls and women.We want to make as much of a difference as we can and reach as many people as we can.”
If your clubs is interested in being part of this project, contact the AFL Outer East for more information.