Football West and Healthway announce mental health campaign for clubs

Football West have announced a newly developed mental health campaign aimed at providing support for West Australian clubs and their members.

The campaign, which was produced alongside Football West partner Healthway, promotes the Think Mental Health message and focuses on five key themes:

  • respect for others
  • diversity and inclusion
  • the importance of participation as opposed to just winning
  • a supportive club environment
  • a healthy game atmosphere

Football West Partnerships Manager Monica Naves outlined that this preventive campaign aims to promote healthy and respectful club and competition environments.

“It has been specially designed for the WA football community,” Naves said via Football West.

“We want to share the message that there are so many positives to take from being involved in football.

“As well as the lifelong friendships that are made and the resilience developed through playing sport, we know it can have such a beneficial effect on physical and mental health.

“We also understand that winning is important, but it can never be the only thing that matters. We would love clubs to get involved and put their brand on the message.”

Healthway CEO Ralph Addis added that the partnership with Football West was helping to empower football clubs across the state to advocate for good health, including mental wellbeing.

“This fantastic campaign is also supported by a range of mental health resources and training that will be delivered to clubs to increase awareness of mental wellbeing and encourage positive behaviours,” Addis said via Football West.

The campaign will be promoted across all of Football West’s social media platforms and website. Clubs are encouraged to get involved and will have access to the campaign’s graphics which they can edit to include their club logo. Those needing help with customisation are encouraged to contact Football West via tmh@footballwest.com.au.

Strategic Plan 2023-2026 launched by Football West

Football West Strategic Plan

Football West recently announced the launch of their 2023-2026 Strategic Plan, a documentation affiliated with Football Australia’s One Football Strategy that will set the direction for football in Western Australia for the coming years.

The plan will see Football West improve the game under five essential departments:

  • Participants and Clubs
  • Elite Teams and Pathways
  • Fans
  • Unifying Football
  • Asia and the Sam Kerr Football Centre

Participants and Clubs

The first pillar has the aim to make Football the most accessible sport in Western Australia where everyone can play anytime, anywhere.

There are key targets set such as: Increase registrations by 5% per annum, increase participation by 3% per annum and have 95% of clubs and associations with a completed affiliation agreement (presently 82%).

Another key focus is the development of women and girls football which isn’t surprising after the recent Women’s World Cup success. Football West set a goal of 42,500 additional women & girls playing football across the three year plan.

Elite Teams and Pathways

This pillar focuses simply on the development of talent at all ages in a bid to improve the quality of the game in Western Australia.

The focus areas are Delivery of a state-wide Football West Academy program, Frequent and consistent talent identification opportunities and High quality coach development pathway

Fans

Football West is focusing on optimising the fan experience and grassroots to improve attendance numbers and social media engagement.

Unifying Football

They will develop a resourcing model that allows for the servicing of responsibilities between Football Australia and Football West, formalised in a Service Agreement

Asia and the Sam Kerr Football Centre

Football West will look to improve international exchanges with Asian countries and use the Sam Kerr Football Centre to secure sponsorships and play big matches there by 2026.

Football West Chairman Sherif Andrawes mentioned the vision that the federation has for the future of football across all levels.

“We are excited to present the Strategic Plan to the WA football community. This is a vision that will see football move forward in tandem with Football Australia but with a strong WA focus,” Andrawes said in a statement.

“Football is in a great position across the state. We saw during the FIFA Women’s World Cup and, more recently, when the CommBank Matildas played in Perth, that our sport is unique in its widespread appeal. This passion can be felt across all areas of the game.

“We want to be bold and ambitious, and the Strategic Plan gives us a strong base from which to deliver on that.”

Football West CEO Jamie Harnwell was excited to announce how the Strategic Plan would be implemented successfully.

“This Strategic Plan is a real statement of intent and one we are proud to deliver. Harnwell mentioned in a Football West statement.

“Football is more popular than it has ever been in Western Australia, in terms of participation, inclusivity and popularity, and we should all be proud of this. However, we cannot rest on our laurels.

“As a governing body, we want to make our game even more accessible, so we can inspire a new generation to love football. That comes through hard work, consultation and direction, all of which are key to the Strategic Plan.”

The Strategic Plan is well set out and focuses on the current struggles the federation is having at grassroots level. Partnering closely with Football Australia will help them achieve the ambitious goals set out to improve both the state and national foundation.

Football West and Healthway spark mental health importance with Kick Off the Conversation program

Kick Off the Conversation program

Football West have launched the Kick Off the Conversation mental health program with Healthway, ahead of the 2024 rollout.

Kick Off the Conversation focuses on raising awareness of improved mental health practices within clubs. This is done by developing tailored resources and taking part in workshops run by local mental health providers.Im

It also educates the football community about Healthway’s Think Mental Health campaign and importantly as part of the program, participating clubs will be eligible to win a share of $15,000 in cash prizes.

Football West and Healthway renewed their partnership for a third year in 2023 and will continue to create club environments that promote positive mental health and wellbeing.

The local football clubs with this program will gain a better understanding of the role they play in supporting and educating all their members on the importance of mental health.

This will help when their members face complex issues and problems with the club hopefully becoming a safe outlet for anyone struggling.

Football West CEO Jamie Harnwell outlined that the program plans to help improve mental health within the sport in the local community.

“The Kick Off the Conversation program will make a positive impact on the lives of many people involved in our sport and will help create a legacy of support and understanding. Harnwell mentioned in a Football West press release.

“Football West is committed to working with Healthway to continue to create supportive club environments that prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of footballers, coaches, officials, and supporters.”

Lotterywest and Healthway CEO Ralph Addis added how the program was going to be rolled out to the local clubs.

“Through the launch of the new program we can directly engage with clubs on prioritising their mental health and wellbeing, and provide them access to relevant support, education, and training,” Addis stated via press release.

There is no denying the importance of mental health and wellbeing in the football space, and educating coaches on how to handle different situations with their players will educate everyone involves and build a solid foundation of learning for the future.

For more information and to download the program e-book, visit the link here: https://www.footballwest.com.au/kick-conversation

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