WA COUNTRY FOOTBALL LEAGUE, UWA YOUNG LIVES MATTER FOUNDATION AND OUTSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM COLLABORATE Thu, July 29, 2021 - 1:03 PM

WA COUNTRY FOOTBALL LEAGUE, UWA YOUNG LIVES MATTER FOUNDATION AND OUTSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM COLLABORATE TO CONDUCT FOLLOW UP RESEARCH OF COUNTRY FOOTBALLERS IN 2021


In 2020 The University of Western Australia’s Young Lives Matter Foundation UWA Limited (UWA YLM) and the Western Australian Country Football League (WACFL) carried out a Country Football survey that studied the social benefits of participating in Western Australia Country Football and the impact on members of the community not participating in their respective Country Football Leagues as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Research outcomes were published in the ‘Get Around Me’ report by West Australian Country Football League and several recommendations were made to address the findings. The current study will action some of these
recommendations.

In 2021, the WACFL have been fortunate to formalise a partnership with the UWA YLM Foundation and Outside the Locker Room (OTLR) to conduct follow up research and action the recommendations listed in “Get Around Me”. This partnership has been developed to enhance research, promotion and education opportunities for WACFL clubs and players, and ultimately contribute towards improving the health and wellbeing of rural and remote communities within Western Australia.

The WACFL are excited to announce the 2021 Country Football Community Health Check Survey is now open and all WA country footballers are encouraged to take part in the online survey.

Mr Ronald W Woss A.M. Chairman of The Young Lives Matter Foundation UWA mentioned YLM is pleased its research expertise has been recognised by both the WACFL and OTLR. “We commend both organisations in tackling mental health issues regarding football players located in rural and remote communities. Next year it is hoped we may do similar work for the WAFL and ultimately, I hope the AFL will also join with us, in this important research, aimed to better understand mental health issues affecting many Australian Rules football players.”

Wayne Martin AC QC, Chair WA Football Commission said the survey conducted in 2020 by the partnership of YLM and the Country Football League confirmed our intuitive belief as to the important connection between community sport and mental well-being – especially in rural areas. “This year’s survey is likely to deliver data which is just as important in developing policies which will improve mental health right across our vast State.” OTLR WA Program Manager, Danielle Stuart said the importance of mental health education and access to support has become more important than ever before. “The partnership with the WACFL and UWA YLM will allow OTLR to bring critical mental health education to remote and rural communities across Western Australia”.

Executive Manager Country Football, Affiliates & Facilities Tom Bottrell said he was hopeful that many of the 12,500 players would complete the survey to enable the best possible data to be collected to build future programs. “It is fantastic to continue working with UWA researchers, and experts in the mental health field, such as Outside the Locker Room, to help use football to develop communities in regional WA,” Mr Bottrell said. The survey closes on Friday 27 August 2021. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

MEDIA REFERENCE
UWA - Jess Reid (UWA Media and PR Advisor) 08 6488 6876
YLM - Alexandra Allan (Associate Director, Advancement Services) 08 6488 4202
WAFC – Elliot Raiter (Communications & Digital Media Specialist) 0437 201 507
OTLR – Dani Stuart (WA Program Manager) dstuart@otlr.org.au
 

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