Giving Back to the Community

R U OK – Create beauty with rope, not suffering. 
The Australian Bureau of Statistics recorded 51.3% of all suicide methods were by way of suffocation. One method easily accessible for this type of suicide is by way of rope.
The R U OK foundation is a charity advocating for the prevention of suicide here in Australia. The organisation develops programs to help remind people that having meaningful conversations with mates and loved ones, could save lives.
I have been a passionate and active supporter of the R U OK team for many years. My own personal struggles will keep me forever engaged in this wonderful charity.
To raise awareness about mental illness in rural Western Australia and the hope to raise funds for the foundation, WE compiled together a team of committed and passionate cyclists to ride the required 725km journey from Perth to Albany, passing through WA’s remote country side. We stopped at 10 towns along the way, touching the locals with belly to belly conversation and the hope of hearing their stories of struggles. We focused our talks to the groups around the importance of opening up the channels of communication to loved ones and friends, by simply asking, “R U OK" on a regular basis.
 I was privileged to be apart of this wonderful initiative and fantastic cycle to Albany. It provided me the chance to share my own stories to the public and pass on some insight of the pressures AFL footballers face in the modern era. The real impact occurred for me when I witnessed a person in each group having the courage to open up and tell their stories first. Once that perceived barrier of shame and fear was broken by the first talker, the whole group wanted to share their stories. That's courage to me! The ride also provided me with life long friends and savouring memories which I will never forget. 
I will increase my support by donating a gold coin to the R U OK? foundation for EVERY piece purchased online. to find out more.