Stars to shine in twilight charity football spectacle

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Stars to shine in twilight charity football spectacle

The countdown is on to the inaugural charity football match ‘switch the headspace’ which will kick off at East Gambier Football Club next month.

The twilight match on February 17 will raise mental health awareness and all event proceeds will be donated to headspace Mount Gambier.

A stellar line-up of players will gear up for the game, including ex-AFL stars Dane Swan, Brodie and Jordan Murdoch, Shane Mumford and Leon Davis.

Other exciting players include Winis Imbi, Simon Berkefeld, Tim, James and Jordan Brennan, Isaac Raymond, Jamie ‘Coatsy’ Coates, Don Pratt, Jason Dawe, Aaron Davis, Jason Dunn, Hoggett Merrett, Brett O’Neil, James and Ben McGregor, Ben Mules, Luke Thomson, Zack Williams, Matt Roscow, Roo McElroy, Jon Copping and Laughlan Brooker.

‘switch the headspace’ Match for Mental Health has been organised by a dedicated local committee which includes Adam Todd, Adam Richards, Jesse Plunkett, Celeste and Shane Raymond, Aaron Davis, Matt Roscow and Luke Thomson.

In an interview with The SE Voice, Todd, Richards and Plunkett said the committee was getting excited for the upcoming event.

“I think in the last two weeks it has started to sail pretty smoothly, everything is starting to fall into place as it is getting closer,” Plunkett said.

“I think you can feel in the last couple of weeks there is another level of excitement that has jumped up, I think you can feel it around us and even start to feel it around town that it is going to be a really good day and night.”

“It is probably just the small things that we need to work on from here and make sure everything runs right on the day, because we have got a general plan of what is going to happen and what is in place to run on the day,” Todd said.

The trio said community excitement was building for the event, which has gained lots of interest and with many big names set to run out onto the oval, this is one match not to be missed.

“A lot of the celebrities local and from out of town are pretty passionate about what we are doing, so that helps a lot,” Plunkett said.

“The celebrities that were selected have somewhat got mental health either connected through them or to them personally and I guess are really playing the game to appreciate what the game means to everyone there and for people playing in it,” Todd said.

The two teams are yet to be determined, however the game guernseys are in, which were made by Xpress Signs and Graphics Mount Gambier and sponsored by Coopers.

Richards said the committee was “stoked” with how the guernseys turned out.

“The image that I had in my head, that is just exactly how it came out,” Richards said.

“They just shine a light on what we are doing,” Plunkett said.

Richards, Todd and Plunkett expressed personal reasons for wanting to take action to raise mental health awareness.

“I guess over the last maybe two years down in our local community we have had, unfortunately, a few tragedies that younger men have committed suicide and I think, I would hope not, that it is starting to maybe become a bit more of a regular thing around the community at the moment,” Todd said.

“We got together and sort of thought to ourselves, why does not someone do something, why not us.

“This idea popped into our heads, so we thought it was the perfect way to push the awareness and get something out there for the community to look forward to.”

“Last year I lost two, three mates to it, so it is a pretty important thing for me, that is why I was pretty keen to do it, do something about it,” Richards said.

“I do not want to lose any more mates to it and I want everyone to know there is someone to talk to or they have the right tools to help them.”

“Mental health has been pretty prevalent throughout my life, for as long as I have been alive unfortunately, so it is something that is pretty close to me that I have seen people go through and gone through myself, so it is something I am quite passionate about,” Plunkett said.

“You are never going to get rid of it, but what you can do to minimise it and help people that are struggling, I think anything is better than nothing.

“Even just being a part of this I hope that people, even if it is one person, might be able to look at one of us from the committee and if they are struggling one day feel that we are open to talk.”

“We are not experts on it or anything like that, but we are happy to sit there and listen if that is all that someone needs, we can point them in the right direction to what they need for what they are going through,” Todd said.

headspace will be helping at the event with volunteers and both headspace and new counselling, therapy and psychosocial support service FeelBetter Limestone Coast, started by local social workers Celeste Raymond and Rachel Neale, will set up stalls.

The gates will open at 4:30pm and pre-game formalities will commence at 6pm, with a Welcome to Country and a minute’s silence and the committee will also speak about mental health.

“We will address why we are here doing what we are doing and just to let everyone know that is the main reason that we are here for.

“The footy game is good, but we are here to spread awareness about mental health,” Plunkett said.

After the formalities conclude, the four-quarter football match will kick off and likely finish around 8pm, which will be followed by an auction and live music will be played before and after the game.

The trio hoped people of all ages from near and far would come along and support the social event.

“We would love for it not just to be Mount Gambier, and that is why we have pushed quite hard for the players we have selected to be from all different places around the Mount as well and from different teams, we want it to be as many people to come together to support our cause,” Plunkett said.

“At the end of the day, it is not just Mount Gambier that struggles with it, it is everyone, so that is the goal.”

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