R U OK? DAY SEPTEMBER 13 2102 – a conversation could change a life….

Community sports clubs are a great social connector. Under normal circumstances, they’re full of people we might see a couple times a week. We’d have a chat and a laugh as we train and play games together, and we might notice if someone seemed “a bit off”. But this year’s different…

September 10th marks R U OK Day for 2020. Of all the years that R U OK Day has been promoted, this year may be the most important to check in with people at your club and ask if they are okay.

Warrnambool Wolves Football Club is one south west club that fully supports the notion of asking others “R U OK?”. President of the Wolves, Brett Gasper, highlights the club’s attitude and culture of supporting each other through the R U OK? campaign.

“This is a message that easily translates to a sporting sense. At the Wolves we want to be known as a Club that looks after and supports our own but also make a contribution to the wider community.”

But for the Wolves, checking in on team mates is not just a once off. They sought permission to include the distinctive R U OK? messaging on club playing tops as a constant reminder to check in and support each other.

At the Warrnambool Wolves Football Club, asking R U OK? is not a one off event.

When asked about the importance of R U OK Day, Mr. Gasper replied,

“I love the message. There are services around that can help the individual, but R U OK? makes us all aware that we can play a big part in the mental health of friends, family and work colleagues and gives you the knowledge to ask R U OK? and respond accordingly.”

But there’s more to R U OK Day than just asking the question. The R U OK website is full of practical advice on how to ask someone if they are okay, and what to do if they tell you that they’re not. By following the R U OK guides and getting in the habit of checking in with each other, we will all help build more supportive clubs like the Warrnambool Wolves in our communities.

To help embed this supportive culture at your club, you may find the following tips helpful:

1. Coaches, officials and athletes demonstrate improvements in life skills and self-esteem.  
2. Athletes like and feel supported by their coach and peers.  
3. Coaches, officials and athletes exhibit kindness toward others.  
4. Sport is a positive and enjoyable experience for all involved.  
5. Coaches, officials and athletes promote a team environment based on mutual respect and positive relationships.  
6. Coaches, officials and administrators create a physically and emotionally safe environment.  
7. Coaches encourage athletes to work with and support members of their sporting community.  
8. Coaches, officials and athletes are confident they can spot the signs someone in their sporting community might be struggling with life.  
9. Coaches, officials and athletes feel confident and willing to have a meaningful R U OK? conversation.  
10. Coaches, officials and athletes feel a sense of connection and belonging within their sport community.

If you or someone you know needs further support, please call
– Lifeline 13 11 14
– Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36
or ‘000’ in an emergency