Players from the Future Matildas program are joining approximately 27,000 Australians in completing The Push Up Challenge this month – an annual initiative backed by headspace that aims to bring people together and shine the spotlight on mental health.
The Challenge asks those who sign up to complete 3,128 push ups over 21 days, representing the number of lives lost in Australia due to suicide in 2017.
The Future Matildas representatives will split the 3,128 push ups between them, and document their efforts on their social media handles. The initiative has been facilitated by NSWIS Athlete Wellbeing & Engagement Advisor, Anthony Quinn.
Nick Hudson, Founding Member at The Push Up Challenge is incredibly proud that money raised from this year’s efforts will go to headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation to continue to promote the importance of self-care and looking after our mental health, just as we do our physical health.
“We know there’s a strong correlation between exercise and mental health,” Hudson said. “This is an opportunity for friends, colleagues or family to come together, have a bit of fun but also educate themselves on the issues impacting so many Australians who live with mental ill-health.”
“Not only will participants get a work-out, but we’ll also send out information throughout the Challenge to educate people about mental wellness,” he said.
Future Matildas Program Manager and Coach, Leah Blayney, said that The Push Up Challenge will be an important addition to the squad’s daily schedule over the coming month, and leave a lasting message.
“We’ve learned that around 75 per cent of mental illness occurs for the first time before the age of 25, so it has never been as important to show support and help break down the stigma associated with mental ill-health,” Blayney said.
“The daily push ups that our players will complete throughout July will remind them of the support that is out there for young athletes, and all Australians,” she said.
For further information on The Push Up Challenge or to join the 27,000 Australians already signed up, visit thepushupchallenge.com.au.
About Future Matildas
The Future Matildas program, which commenced in March 2018, is a tailored training environment serving some of Australia’s most talented 15-20-year-old female footballers. The program enables players to train and play regularly with other high-level players, and access specialised coaching and support from a range of staff, many of whom are also involved with Australia’s senior women’s national side. Football Federation Australia (FFA) has teamed up with the New South Wales Government, New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS), and Football NSW to establish the Future Matildas initiative, which seeks to bridge the gap between the current and future generations of Westfield Matildas. The program has also received funding from the Australian Sports Commission.
headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year olds. headspace has 110 centres across Australia in metropolitan, regional and remote areas, as well as online and phone support services through eheadspace. headspace can help young people with mental health, physical health (including sexual health) alcohol and other drug services, and work and study support. Centre details, as well as factsheets and resources for young people and their families and friends, can be located on the headspace website: headspace.org.au.