Breaking the barriers

Two Wells Bowling Club raised more than $550 for mental health initiatives last month when it took part in the Breakthrough Community Round.

The unique round was an event bowling clubs across the state could voluntarily take part in on Saturday February 13.

Proceeds from the club’s regular weekly raffle were donated to the cause, which the club voted to match dollar for dollar, and totalled $570.

TWBC president Ian Campbell said the Breakthrough Community Round was a great way to raise awareness of mental health and encourage people to get out and be active.

“We have a very social club, we’re very supportive of people and encourage them to enjoy themselves, to take away any stress and leave their troubles behind,” he said.

“It’s an inclusive club I think, and as I’ve said many times before, bowls is not an old person’s game; it’s a game that old people can play, and it’s an adage that is so true.

“Being active is a key factor for good mental health.”

Suicide prevention advocate, John Dawkins, praised the efforts of the club, saying community groups, particularly sporting groups, provided a unique opportunity for people to talk in a supportive and encouraging environment.

“This is an example of how sporting clubs in particular can get involved in helping people with their mental health issues,” Mr Dawkins said.

“It’s all about contact with people, and with people who are supportive and encouraging.

Bowls SA CEO, Mark Easton, said it was a conversation the sport was “trying to drive 365 days a year”.

“The more people meet at our venues, the more they get out on a green, or can become part of a venue and belong, the better.

“We can’t ignore the fact that it (mental health) is an issue for us.

“It’s an issue for our community as well, and we do have the vehicle to actually be part of the solution.”

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