Yarrawonga Chronicle

Pigeons’ focus in on wellbeing program

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Loss of income and in some cases employment, increased isolation, homelessne­ss, decrease capacity to engage in sport and community activities, not being able to attend education and an increase in mental health concerns are just a few of the impacts the region has seen.

Yarrawonga netballer and Board Welfare Director Erin Rees relocated from Melbourne mid-COVID last year to be the Operationa­l Director of Albury Wodonga Health’s Mental Health Services. She was immediatel­y struck by the impact of the pandemic and bushfires but also very heartened by the resilience and sense of community in the region.

Erin was invited to the board of Yarrawonga Football Netball Club by President Ross Mulquiney with the main aim to further develop a structure to support the club and community.

Ross said the Pigeons are aiming to provide a safe, supportive and inclusive sporting and community environmen­t in which all members of the community are welcome to join, participat­e and contribute in various ways.

“A safe and supportive club culture protects people against a range of health-related risks as well as a strong and inclusive club enabling players, members, supporters, families and others in the community to engage in meaningful and positive relationsh­ips for mutual benefit,” Ross explained.

To date the club has run the Tackle your Feelings Program which is a Mental Health initiative aimed at supporting our club and providing coaches and managers with the tools to understand and recognize and manage their response to the signs of mental health in their players.

The program was co-facilitate­d with Rachel Willis from Pure Empowermen­t Psychology and was attended by coaching staff, managers and board members.

The #Bekindtoyo­urmind initiative– a mental health awareness campaign and round was successful­ly held with Myrtleford Alpine Saints on the 10th of July with guest speakers Lauren Jackson and Glenn Manton. The round celebrated Mental Health awareness, reducing stigma about being mentally unwell and promoting the importance of reaching out for support when needed.

The TAC Road Safety Round [including a presentati­on to our junior players on driving safety], Freeze for MND charity match, 1800 Respect Charity match where over $4000 was raised for the domestic violence charity and review of Player code of conduct are other initiative­s the club has participat­ed in.

“The club is now announcing the launch of the YFNC Wellbeing Team – a team and program for YFNC players, officials, members, supporters and broader Yarrawonga community that supports and encourages mental health awareness, early interventi­on and resilience within the community,” Ross said.

“Over the coming months and years, the team will be aiming to create a basic understand­ing of mental health through use of education, events and initiative­s with the aim of having Mental Health awareness and support integratio­n into the club’s culture. The team will also have the capacity to provide access to resources and support referral pathways as required.”

If being part of this initiative is of interest to people, please contact Erin at info@yfnc. com.au

The coronaviru­s pandemic and bushfires have certainly taken their toll on our region over the last 18 months.

 ??  ?? Yarrawonga Football Netball Club representa­tives pictured at the recent #Bekindtoyo­urmind mental health awareness campaign held at Myrtleford on July 10 with guest speakers Lauren Jackson and Glenn Manton
Yarrawonga Football Netball Club representa­tives pictured at the recent #Bekindtoyo­urmind mental health awareness campaign held at Myrtleford on July 10 with guest speakers Lauren Jackson and Glenn Manton

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