As the season winds up and we reflect on the achievements of the past six months, there are so many great things that we have achieved and things that we should be proud of. We had some great on field results, including a one-day premiership, and many other memorable achievements. However, our off-field achievements were also outstanding, have enhanced our reputation and hold us in good stead for the future. What stands out to me is our focus on mental health, supporting each other and investing in the youth and kids of our club.
Of course, we don’t do this for external recognition, but gee its nice when it comes, and lets us know we are on the right track. I know that everyone was so proud of Steve Pabst for winning Junior Coach of the year, something that was many years in the making and was so well deserved. Yes, his team of young men played well, but to see his investment in those boys over so many years is even more important.
Our leadership in men's mental health was also acknowledged at the recent WACA awards, and we won the best community partnership with Richmond Wellbeing. This was a tribute to everyone at the club that has seen the importance in talking about men's mental health and taken a stand to be someone who will make a difference in or community, one man at a time. I know that so many guys at our club are on a journey of learning more about mental health and most guys do this for two reasons. The first is so that they can improve or safeguard their own mental health to be a better husband, partner or father, and the other reason is so that they can be a better mate by supporting someone close to them if they have challenges with their mental health.
Our focus as a club on mental health has been increasing over the last 5 years, and it will only continue to increase because we know that it is the most pressing health issue for men aged 18-42. KCC is committed to creating an environment where boys and girls can develop into great men and women and this takes strong leadership, engaged parents, excellent coaches like Steve, and a culture that promotes strong mental health and wellbeing. It takes everyone!
So, over the off season while we all miss the greatest game on earth, I encourage everyone to please think about two things. The first thing is your own mental health and wellbeing and what you need to do, or what strategies you need in place to make sure your mental health is as good as it can be. The second thing is to think about what you can do next season to help KCC create an environment for everyone that is supportive and promotes strong mental health and wellbeing. This could be as simple as checking in with your mates more often or having more conversations about mental health. You may even choose to attend a mental health first aid course or become a club champion for mental health, or volunteer coach to invest in the next generation of cricketers.
Whatever it is, I encourage everyone to come back next season with at least one thing you will do to improve your own mental health and wellbeing, and one way that you can support the club to promote strong mental health as we seek to be a leader in our society.