Sydney University Football Club (SUFC) has announced a partnership with The Banksia Project, aimed at supporting Australian men’s mental health.
The partnership will see the club fundraise for the mental health not-for-profit and see unique ways to optimise player performance and wellbeing on an off the field by offering players and staff ongoing mental health support through The Banksia Project’s services.
SUFC executive general manager, David Haigh, said the partnership will become a fundamental part of team training, ensuring the health and wellbeing of players and staff.
“The health of our team, both physical and mental, is the highest priority for SUFC,” Haigh said.
“The support offered by The Banksia Project has become a fundamental part of our training, equipping our players with the skills and tools required to support one another on and off the field.
“It’s been an important element for our players to recognise and embrace their mateship as a team and ensure they have the strength and motivation to optimise their performance as a player and as an individual,” he said.
The Banksia Project’s program director and former SUFC player and coach, Jack Jones, said the project’s programs, including the virtual Growth Rooms program, act like a “gym for the mind”, with the results indicating participants feel 40% more connected, 30% more resilient, and 25% happier after just three sessions.
“We pride ourselves on creating a community where everyone feels safe and supported, with the motivation to lead a happier and healthier life,” Jones said.
“All of our services are free and available to men nationally, so we encourage anyone feeling challenged, alone, or simply in need of a chat to join one of our Growth Room sessions,” he said.
SUFC captain, Rohan O’Regan, said the team understands the importance of strong mental health, and appreciates the support of The Banksia Project.
“As a young bloke, it’s vital we know how to identify our own strengths and challenges, ask for help when we need it, and most importantly, know how to support our mates during tough times,” O’Regan said.
“We’re happy to have The Banksia Project helping the club and our people to perform better on and off the field,” he said.
To support the campaign, in addition to fundraising efforts, the players will sport bright pink socks in a match on August 15.