Bowling to support mindfulness: GSBA breaks through mental health stigmas

GREAT SUPPORT: Rob Wilkins from the Victor Harbor Bowling Club sends a bowl down on Saturday. Bowls is right behind mental health awareness.
GREAT SUPPORT: Rob Wilkins from the Victor Harbor Bowling Club sends a bowl down on Saturday. Bowls is right behind mental health awareness.

Great Southern Bowling Association is on board with 'Breakthrough Round' and is encouraging its clubs to support the inaugural statewide Breakthrough Community Round this February.

The round is part of a partnership between Bowls SA and the Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation, with clubs encouraged to take part in raising funds and awareness in the fight against mental illness.

The round will be held on Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14, with clubs also having the ability to partake in the fundraising at any midweek bowls or social events.

Part of the initiative will see associations, clubs and players encouraged to go purple with their attire and decorations around the clubs.

Association president Brian Paterson said he is "all for" the Breakthrough Community Round concept.

"We had an executive meeting a couple of days following the announcement of the round and everyone was on board," he said.

"As an association we fully support the idea. We have got a delegates meeting upcoming an we are really going to push it to our clubs there.

"We see it as a vital issue, and it is something we can take for granted sometimes."

Bowls SA CEO Mark Easton said the concept of the Breakthrough Community Round has been well supported across the state.

"All of our associations across the state have been great in showing their support for the round," he said.

"This just shows how important the battle against mental illness is to everyone in the community."

For more information and how to get involved with the Breakthrough Community Round, visit https://breakthroughcommunityround.com/

Following the incredible success of last year's Breakthrough Community Round, supported by Fleurieu Milk, there is the launch of the Breakthrough Community Round - Summer Edition.

The Summer Edition will take place on February 13 and 14 and it is not just bowls involved. Along with Bowls SA, Tennis SA and Sports SA are also on board.

All summer sporting leagues and teams are encouraged to take part. Support will raise awareness and much needed funds for mental health research.

A Breakthrough spokesperson said sporting clubs were trusted voices in their communities and were an ideal vehicle to drive the message about mental health awareness and the need for research to help tackle mental illness head on.

"In Winter, the sports all rallied behind the mental health initiative," the spokesperson said.

"It's never been a more important time to support the mental health of your players, officials, volunteers and families that make up the fabric of your community."

For clubs that take part in fundraising, mental health first aid training sessions will take place throughout 2021.

"We encourage your club to empower its members to tackle mental health head on, come together to raise funds and participate in vital training to support the wellbeing of your club," the spokesperson said.

"Register your team now to play a vital role in helping create a life free from mental illness. Sign up now and you'll receive access to a range of tools and resources to help your fundraising efforts."

All funds raised will go to fund much-needed mental health research and will directly fund mental health first aid programs across leagues throughout the state.

Head to Breakthrough Community Round to sign up your club now.

For more information about the round or how to get involved contact Community Event Specialist Maddi Haines on mhaines@breakthroughfoundation.org.au or 08 8236 8801.

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