St Kilda’s assortment of moustaches and accumulation of several thousand kilometres covered during its Movember campaign has helped the Spud's Mates Challenge raise a total of $28,392.
Saints players, coaches and staff took part in the fundraising effort to raise much-needed mental health funds in honour of the late Danny Frawley, with the club contributing over $19,000 to the cause.
Alongside the numerous moustaches filtering through RSEA Park, Moorabbin during the past month, St Kilda’s Movember team ran, cycled and swum 9815km; almost four times its initial target of 2222km.
Jarryn Geary led the club’s charge with almost $2000 raised, Dan Butler followed close behind with $1200, while AFLW forward Renee Saulitis moved 180km within the month. Several other staff members completed a staggering 222km total distance covered in the 30-day period.
Since partnering with global mental health juggernaut Movember in early 2021, the club has launched several initiatives to help break down the stigmas surrounding mental ill-health and encourage anyone and everyone to put their hand up if they’re struggling.
The inaugural Spud’s Game: Time 2 Talk raised $329,499 to support numerous initiatives run through the Danny Frawley Centre for Health and Wellbeing, with funding also helping launch Movember’s Ahead of the Game.
The ground-breaking program aims to improve mental health, particularly in young men involved in organised sport, while also engaging with the broader sporting community.
As a result of the partnership with Movember, Ahead of the Game is now running in 20 sporting clubs across Melbourne’s south-east.
Earlier this year, the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System unearthed deep gaps in the “crisis-driven” and “broken” system, an over-reliance on hospital-based services, emergency departments and medication for treatment, along with poor access to suitable support services.
The commission also showed that 25 per cent of children live with a parent who suffers from a mental illness.
In the 65 recommendations presented by the commission, there was a consistent thread of the necessity to redesign mental health services and move towards a community-driven model.
The Danny Frawley Centre for Health and Wellbeing is scheduled for completion in early 2022.