“Healthy Blokes Football Match” to raise awareness and funds for men’s health

Kate Astbury, Scott Turner and Greg Little
Kate Astbury, Scott Turner and Greg Little

The inaugural “Healthy Blokes Football Match” has been organised to tackle men’s health issues, with statistics highlighting the issues surrounding men’s health.

Former Ararat and Richmond footballer Scott Turner worked in conjunction with Grampians Community Health to create the match to be held at Ararat’s Alexandra Oval on Sunday August 5.

Turner said the match is sure to be a great occasion and one that is important for men in the region.

“I truly hope this day will encourage men to take care of their physical and mental health and seek early assistance to prevent health problems arising,” he said.

“This benefits them, their family and the whole community.”

Turner said he had no issues finding people to participate in the match.

“Within a few days of planning the game, we had 40 men and women from across the Grampians and Wimmera stick their hands up to play,” he said.

Grampians Community Health chief executive officer Greg Little said men are more likely than women to experience serious health problems, have a higher mortality rate and they die in greater numbers than women from almost all non-gender-specific health problems. 

“Men like to think we are tough and are less likely to seek treatment from a general practitioner or other health professionals,” Mr Little said.

“We are also less likely to have in place the supports and social connections needed when things go wrong such as physical and mental health problems.

“Blokes make up an average 75 per cent of suicides every single day in Australia.

“The number of men who die by suicide in Australia every year is nearly double the national road toll.

“One in eight males will experience depression at some time in their lives and one in five anxiety. Men experience loneliness more than women, and it’s not just blokes living alone who get lonely,” Mr Little said.

Turner said the original idea was just to play a football match among friends but he came to the decision to tie it in with men’s health.

Men like to think we are tough and are less likely to seek treatment from a general practitioner or other health professionals

Greg Little

“Obviously the match is about awareness but it will also be about training people on how we can deal with any issues we may be having,” he said.

“It is a great cause and it should be a great day.”

All proceeds from the event will go towards holding mental health first aid courses at local sporting clubs.

These courses will provide club members with tools to recognise when someone is struggling and support people with mental health problems.

The inaugural “Healthy Blokes Football Match” will be played at Ararat’s Alexandra Oval on Sunday August 5 from 2pm.

The match is an opportunity for two teams of 40 people from around Stawell, Ararat and Great Western. It will be a good opportunity to raise much needed funds and awareness for men’s health.