Inaugural Tackling Suicide Celebrity and Community Charity Match helps raise $9500 for men’s mental health

Peel Thunder's Gerald Ugle (left) and Ben Howlett. Ugle made his WA debut in the win over South Australia.
Peel Thunder's Gerald Ugle (left) and Ben Howlett. Ugle made his WA debut in the win over South Australia.

PEEL Thunder players took on Perth at Lathlain Oval on the weekend and did their bit to raise money for mental health programs.

The Tackling Suicide Celebrity and Community Charity Match, which included a Celebrity Community Game, raised almost $10,000 for LifeLine and Outside the Locker Room. The funding will benefit sporting clubs and schools with mens mental health programs.

Perth Demons and Peel Thunder battled it out in the curtain raiser, the inaugural Youth Focus Cup, and came home with the trophy.

Peel Thunder football manager Shane Creevey said Peel did really well and new players held their own.

He said some new Fremantle players also participated and gelled well with Peel players.

“It was good prep for the season,” he said.

Athletes and celebrities who signed up for the Celebrity Community Game included AFL champions Troy Cook, Peter Bell, Drew Petrie, Luke McPharlin, Andrew Embley, Daniel Kerr, Jake Edwards, David Wirrpanda, Dale Kickett, Paul Hasleby, Sam Butler, Shaun McManus and Ryan Crowley. Hockeyroo Ashleigh Nelson, ex-Kookaburra Simon Orchard as well as media personalities Paddy Sweeney and Nadia Mitsopoulos also agreed to put on their footy boots.

Former Fremantle Dockers player Paul Hasleby and Hockeyroo player Ashleigh Nelson. Picutre: Martin Kennealey.

Ashleigh Nelson said mental health was an issue for sportspeople and other people in high pressure jobs.

Outside the Locker Room was founded by former Carlton player Jake Edwards, who was diagnosed with depression at the age of 19 and at his lowest, contemplated suicide.

Youth Focus community engagement manager Chris Harris said community awareness was an integral part of the organisation’s mission to prevent suicide.

“Youth Focus is proud to be involved in this community event, which raised awareness about youth mental health to help us continue our suicide prevention crusade,” he said.

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