The past few months and upcoming
The past few months have been all consuming. With many new staff members and a sporting world who seemed to be crawling back into action, we had our challenges in re-negotiating how we would position ourselves in this post Covid world. On the one hand, people have never needed the services of SALT more than they do now. On the other hand, they were short of volunteers and they had a heck of a lot of work to do just to field teams, let alone have SALT sessions.
Mental health was the biggest issue our society was facing before Covid and every issue that caused a person pain back then was largely magnified during 2 years of lock down.
Through the support of the Bendigo Bank and Mawsons Concrete and Quarries we were able to get back into clubs, mainly country clubs, and deliver Wellbeing and Mental Health sessions, Positive Parenting sessions and establish Club Wellbeing Teams.
Our vital work around responsible gambling continues to grow through our wonderful partnership with the VRGF and we completed our pilot series of Clubs with Heart. This was really exciting because we had 50 clubs from 17 different sports and we developed a 12 hour curriculum delivered through 8 sessions over 6 months. The feedback was strong and we are now working on Series 2 which we know will be even better than the first series. We are looking to start this on May 23rd.
We are currently negotiating with a range of leagues and organisations new programs and partnerships. Clubs can choose to have sessions online or face to face and we have around 10 new trainee presenters who are now well into their training program to become future SALT facilitators. Many of these people are located in country Victoria where we have the greatest need.
Many people are hurting at the moment. We hear their stories as they share with hesitation in front of their peers. When people then respond with their absolute commitment to caring for those in need, we feel that familiar sense of gratitude for local sporting clubs who see their roles as something far more than fielding teams and winning flags.
VRGF (Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation)
SALT has recently supported Melbourne Victory as part of their School Holiday Program delivering the VRGF Love the Game Leadership session. The Holiday Program, delivered by Melbourne Victory, provided participants with the opportunity to engage with Melbourne Victory staff, coaches and players, as well as participate in education and employment sessions. Participants had the opportunity to develop leadership and teamwork skills as well as learn and improve their football skills and knowledge through daily training sessions and games.
This program is targeted at young people from African and Pacifica backgrounds, with a focus on engaging them during their holiday break and time away from the structure of schooling and education.
SALT have also recently received an endorsement from the VRGF in recommending the Love the Game content to interstate initiatives in preventing gambling harm and reducing young people’s exposure to gambling. SALT have recently met with the SA team of the ‘Here for the Game’ initiative as well as the NSW ‘Reclaim the Game’ in discussing the SALT model.
Below is the endorsement from Sharin Milner – Senior Preventions Partnership Advisor
“VRGF currently utilise SALT in the design and delivery of our gambling harm prevention education programs. Their delivery style and ability to engage sport audiences – players (all ages), club committee members and parents – is outstanding.
Our Love the Game x SALT modules integrate gambling harm awareness messages within a core content focus of protective factors/primary prevention – positive leadership, courage, peer pressure, critical thinking – and all grounded within sporting contexts and examples. Sessions are highly interactive and feedback to date has been overwhelmingly positive.”