AFL Canberra announces inaugural RUOK? Awareness Round

It can be common in sport to dismiss our emotional wellbeing when there is so much focus on physical performance and winning.What we do know is that mental illness can affect the way we perform or how we think about our performance.

That’s why AFL Canberra and R U OK? have created an awareness round to help us look out for one another and create an environment that encourages meaningful conversations both on and off the footy field.

From Monday the 30thof July to Sunday the 5thof August, AFL Canberra staff, community clubs and more will work together to break down the stigma associated with mental health through a number of initiatives.

The aim of organising the R U OK? awareness round is to build up a sense of camaraderie and rapport between the people involved, so that they get to know one another a bit better. Some of the best conversations are the ones which take place between people who trust and know one another.

R U OK?’s vision is a world where we’re all connected and are protected from suicide. Community AFL clubs are a great support network for players and highlighting this simple question within clubs, can hopefully provide another opportunity for players to feel connected.

 All senior players, umpires and volunteers will be donning yellow armbands. This round will also see all Water Runners wearing the RUOK? yellow t-shirts. Having our runners wear this shirt, is a simple gesture raising awareness for this great cause.

Round 12 saw the Tuggeranong Hawks start the conversation at Greenway Oval, with senior sides wearing blue armbands and hair ties. Each game also saw both senior sides come together, shake hands and communicating that “It’s Okay not to be Okay”.

Photo Credit: Wodshots Photography

Initiatives for RUOK? Round will extend beyond the football field, with AFL Canberra engaging Tim Guthrie, Phusion Living Philosophy and Brendan Maher, CEO of RUOK? to run staff sessions focusing on wellness and the importance of mental health.

For more information on RUOK? and tips on how to start a conversation – you can download RUOK_AFL Canberra_Toolkit  or visit 

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