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Adamstown Rosebuds push (up) for better mental health

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Newcastle footballer Drew Grierson is on track to complete this year’s Push Up Challenge to raise awareness about good mental health – and funds for local suicide prevention services.

The 23-year-old Kotara High School PDHPE teacher from Hamilton South has joined fellow Adamstown Rosebud FC senior squad players to do 3,139 push-ups over 24 days while amassing financial assistance for Lifeline Hunter.

Wednesday (15 June) was day 15 of the challenge.

Grierson did 223 push ups, the largest of the varying daily number set by the initiative.

He admitted it was good to get over that hump and just have 1,321 remaining.

“I did it last year with some of the boys from the club, so I knew what to expect,” Grierson said.

“The varied number of push-ups you need to do goes hand-in-hand with personal mental health challenges; some days are harder than others.

“Having good mental health can be a daily challenge for some people.

“So, having a daily physical push up challenge gets you thinking about those people’s experience.”

Grierson is one of the captains leading three push up teams across the football’s clubs first and reserve grade outfits.

He’s also battling injury this year, which means the fullback hasn’t played much this season.

“Our teams have struggled a bit on the park in 2022 and some of the other boys are injured like me, and that is mentally challenging,” Grierson told the Newcastle Weekly.

“So, the Push Up Challenge has been good for us to do as a squad and personally.

“It is a great way to stay connected, get fitter, learn about mental health and have a bit of fun along the way.

“There’s a bit of rivalry between our three teams.

“Lifeline does so much locally to help local people in crisis and to prevent suicide, so hopefully we can raise some funds to help them to help others in the community.”

Lifeline Hunter CEO Rob Sams thanked the club and its players for their support and praised their efforts to promote good mental health within the organisation and the community.

Adamstown Rosebud also has a partnership with youth mental health group, to provide resilience and mental health awareness resources and assistance 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.

Mr Sams is also doing the Push-Up Challenge.

He said there was evidence of the positive connection between good physical and mental health, so those doing the challenge would make a difference to their own life as well as the lives of other Hunter people.

“Every dollar Adamstown Rosebuds and other people and teams undertaking the challenge for Lifeline Hunter raise during the challenge will go to local suicide prevention services and support,” Mr Sams stated.

“Lifeline’s staff and volunteers are here to make sure no one has to face their darkest moment alone.

“The 3,139 push-ups isn’t a random number.

“That is how many Australians died by suicide in 2020.

“It is the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44.

“Every year, Lifeline answers more than one million requests for support.

“We receive a call or text to our 13 11 14 crisis support service every 30 seconds.”

Mr Sams said many people in the community were doing it tough right now.

“We’re experiencing more demand for crisis support and our free face-to-face and online counselling,” he added.

“So, 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.”

People doing the challenge aren’t restricted to traditional push ups.

They can do kneeling or wall push ups, sit ups, squats or star jumps.

Grierson is mostly doing traditional push ups.

His tip for getting through the challenge is to break the push-ups up during the day.

“It doesn’t take long to smash out 20 or even 50 push-ups and it makes you feel good,” he said.

The Push-Up Challenge was founded in 2017 and is run by The Push For Better Foundation.

With 414million push-ups done, it has become Australia’s largest mental health and fitness initiative.

More than 174,000 Australians did the challenge last year.

For more information, visit www.thepushupchallenge.com.au

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

The Rosebud’s community page is https://www.thepushupchallenge.com.au/fundraisers/AdamstownRosebudsFC1122

Statistics

  • More than 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt each year
  • Nine Australians die every day by suicide. 75 per cent of those who take their own life are male
  • For each life lost to suicide, the impacts are felt by up to 135 people, including family members, work colleagues, friends, first responders at the time of death
  • One in four Australians are lonely and have no-one to speak to. Lifeline is here to listen and offer hope

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 www.lifelinehunter.org.au

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