Kicking goals for RU OK day is a year-round sport

Kicking goals for RU OK day is a year-round sport

Checking in with Harrisdale SHS, AFLW West Coast Eagles and YouthCARE

Conversations are so important for building trust, support and connection between people throughout communities. RU OK Day is a great reminder to stop and take the time to check in on how the people around us are going.

Chaplains have many conversations as part of their day however they do so much more to support the wellbeing of the school community. Carly Arnold is one of the two YouthCARE Chaplains at Harrisdale Senior High School. This year for RU OK Day Carly organised a whole-school wellbeing event full of fun. This was the first whole school event to be organised around mental health as the school was only established 6 years ago.

West Coast Eagles AFLW player Aisling McCarthy graciously accepted the key note role, speaking at the year 9 assembly followed by a Q&A with the students. It was a great opportunity for the students to connect with a sporting hero and hear about Aisling’s journey. Aisling spoke about how she came to play the sport she loves and how injury affected her mental health along the way.

“As you can tell from my accent, I’m not actually from Australia. I’ve come all the way from Ireland to play this sport. So not being able to play and not being able to fulfill that dream because of injury was quite tough.

What I learnt was to have a balance away from sport and not have my identity fully engrossed in football. I am also a physio and have family and friends here, so I spent a lot of my time pouring my love onto them while working on that balance.”

Aisling McCarthy, Player for the AFLW West Coast Eagles

The speech encouraged students to look at how they cope with their own struggles and the support they can call on.

That wasn’t all though. Students enjoyed a meet and greet with Aisling during recess before the year 9’s got to test their skills against hers.

And that wasn’t all either! Students participated in skateboarding and basketball activities hosted by the City of Gosnells Youth Team, a fundraiser sausage sizzle, face painting with their peer support leaders and live music hosted by Ian Broadbent, also a YouthCARE Chaplain at the Harrisdale Senior High School.

No matter what time of the year it is, we encourage you to connect with the people in your community by asking ‘are you okay?’ That’s one of the ways everyone wins. Okay?