The Men’s NPL football club, Adamstown Rosebud, is participating in The Push-Up Challenge, helping to raise some much-needed funds and pushing for better mental health in the community.

First-grade fullback Drew Grierson, Hunter Lifeline CEO Rob Sams and reserve-grade centre back, Nick Pettiford are all participating in this year’s challenge.

Lifeline Australia is one of the beneficiaries of this year’s The Push Up Challenge, founded by The Push for Better Foundation.

Adamstown Rosebud’s first and reserve grade players have formed three teams who, from June 1, will attempt to complete 3,139 push-ups over 24 days while raising funds for Lifeline Hunter.

Lifeline Hunter CEO, Rob Sams, thanked the club and its players for their efforts in promoting good mental health within the community.

“Every dollar Adamstown Rosebud raises during the challenge will go to local suicide prevention services and support,” Sams said.

“The 3,139 push-ups isn’t a random number…that is how many Australians died by suicide in 2020; suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44.

“We’re experiencing more demand for crisis support and our free face to face and online counselling… so, now more than ever, we’re relying on local community donations and fundraising to be there to listen to local people and to give them hope.”

Adamstown Rosebud reserve-grade centre back and one of the push-up challenge team captains, Nick Pettiford, said it was important to prioritise mental health as it played a role in every person’s life.

“It’s really important to take care of your mental health and seek help when needed,” the 18-year old said.

“There is a statistic from the Australian Department of Health that states that half of Australian adults will face some form of mental health issue.

“Many go through these mental health challenges and are too scared to speak about it or seek the help they truly need.

“This is a huge reason why we have decided to participate in The Push-Up Challenge and team up with Lifeline…we want to get rid of that stigma and encourage people who are doing it tough to reach out for help, reminding them that they aren’t alone.”

According to Lifeline Hunter, more than 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt each year, and nine Australians die every day by suicide, 75 per cent of which are male.

Pettiford said over 30 of the Adamstown Rosebud players had split up into three teams to create some friendly competition.

“It’s a different number of push-ups every day…it could be 50 one day and 250 the next,” Pettiford said.  

“This reflects the ups and downs of mental health and how some days can be more challenging than others.

“Even though we are in separate teams, we encourage each other and work towards the same goal.”

Pettiford said there were various ways that people could prioritise their own mental health.

“Getting 30 minutes of exercise a day, going outside for a walk, eating nourishing meals and joining a local team-based environment to get that social aspect really helps,” he said.

“I think the most important thing is talking about it and getting those feelings off your chest.

“Lifeline offers a brilliant 24/7 call service which is open to anyone free of charge…I would 100 per cent recommend this to anyone who needs someone to talk to.”

Adamstown Rosebud has also partnered with youth mental health organisation, headspace, to provide mental health awareness resources and support to players and coaches.

It is helping headspace to develop and pilot a coaching resource to incorporate mental health awareness and skills during training sessions.

To support one of the Adamstown Rosebud teams or take up the challenge and support Lifeline Hunter, visit www.thepushupchallenge.com.au/beneficiary/Lifeline-Hunter-NSW.

Lifeline support:

  • Telephone: 13 11 14
  • Lifeline Text: 0477 13 11 14
  • Chat online: www.lifeline.org.au
  • Free counselling (face to face or online): 1300 152 854 or lifelinehunter.org.au

Hayley McMahon

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