AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) is thrilled to announce a new program, Footy 4 Life Wellbeing Wednesday which highlights the importance of footy “beyond the scoreboard”.
For the first time in Alice Springs, disengaged members of the community can join AFLNT’s Footy 4 Life Wellbeing Wednesday which uses the sport of AFL as a tool to improve physical and mental health.
This initiative joins the great work the AFLNT Remote Development Team does in delivering diversity programs for groups of individuals who often miss out and do not have the means to participate in local AFL competitions and programs.
AFLNT Alice Springs Remote Development Manager and Founder of Footy 4 Life Wellbeing Wednesday, Tommy Dutton runs regular AFL mentor programs, clinics, competitions, and carnivals with eight remote Indigenous communities said he started the program after noticing a portion of the community missing out on positive, empowering activities which could be of great benefit to individuals.
“For the past six months I’ve mentored an awesome young man who has a cognitive impairment and requires round the clock support and after seeing great improvements to his wellbeing over this time, it got me thinking of ways I could help other members of the community in a really meaningful way.”
The Wellbeing Wednesday program is designed for individuals seeking an outlet, whether that be to participate in exercise, socialise with others, improve emotional wellbeing, be part of a community they can find empowerment from or just have some fun.
After an initial six-week trial, Dutton describes the program as a great way to continue to check in with its members and says it is important to providing structure even if it is only one day a week for a couple of hours.
“This is a style of teaching I have created to help people, mainly those under the age of 24, identify their foundations in life to provide clarity amongst who they are and what opportunities they have around them,”
“Despite this being the first year we’ve run the program, we have already seen around 50 new footy lovers to the oval during this trial phase.”
Even though there have been new faces each week, there are some regulars who continually attend and are key for the long-term success of the Wellness Wednesday program.
As part of the program, participants engage in footy related activities such as kicking as many goals as possible in a certain number of minutes and setting personal targets each week.
“It’s been fantastic to see so many regular program members improve their physical and mental wellbeing by having a kick and checking in with mates while having a feed – chats are the best with a footy or chicken roll in hand!”
All members of the community are welcome to attend the Footy 4 Life Wellness Wednesday program.
Footy 4 Life Wellbeing Wednesday Program
Date: Every Wednesday
Location: ANZAC Oval, Alice Springs