The Coorparoo Kings and Aspley Hornets will face off in the BeyondBlue Cup tomorrow.
Depression has become an increasingly prevalent issue among the football community, as well as our society as a whole.
In years gone by, the culture of masculinity prevented plenty of elite and community footballers from getting the support they needed to deal with mental health issues.
Where once a football club might be seen as the worst environment for someone suffering depression, with the pressure to uphold a particular image on and off the field, Coorparoo’s Josh Lake believes the community aspect of footy clubs can affect great change.
That’s why this weekend, Lake has led the charge to organise a fundraiser for BeyondBlue.
In their Rd 13 fixture, Coorparoo will play off against Aspley for the BeyondBlue Cup, to help raise money and awareness for depression and mental health issues.
The Kings will wear light blue jerseys in the match, which will be auctioned off after the game.
With the tight bonds of those around footy clubs, Lake said there was no better place to have such a fundraiser.
“I think we can really help some people just by utilising the great community we have down at Coorparoo and spreading the word,” he said.
Lake, who has seen the effects of depression firsthand and is passionate about helping encourage people to reach out and change their lives, said it was important to keep the dialogue open about these kinds of issues.
“I have witnessed very closely how depression & anxiety can affect simple every day tasks, it can make life very difficult,” he said.
“We all know someone who has in some way been affected by mental illness and it’s amazing how little information people have or just don’t know where to look.
“I hope this raise awareness in that respect and then hopefully make footballers & sports people realise that they can talk about their troubles and we will still notice the courageous, inspiring things they do on the sporting fields.”
As well as playing off for the BeyondBlue Cup, Coorparoo will also be holding a raffle to help raise funds for the organisation, with prizes including a Sherrin signed by Lions premiership player, Simon Black.
The action kicks off with an intraclub old boys match at 10am as well.
Lake said he hoped the event would become an annual feature on the Kings’ calendar.
“I just want to give something back to a great organisation that I know helps a lot of people in a lot of ways,” he said.
“Hopefully, it will raise some awareness to help send people in the right direction.
“A massive part of depression is accepting something is not right but then the next step is finding the people and places to get you back on top & beyondblue have all that information together for you.”
For more information, go to the event page, http://www.facebook.com/events/144776112392806/