The Sydney Roosters will join forces with Gotcha4Life to raise funds and awareness in support of mental fitness in their Round 20 match against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.
The mental fitness charity will be the centrepiece of the rivalry match against the Sea Eagles, as the two sides battle for the inaugural Gotcha4Life Cup on Thursday, July 28 at Brookvale Oval.
Gotcha4Life, established in 2017, is a not-for-profit foundation with the goal of bringing suicide numbers to zero through delivering mental fitness programs that engage, educate and empower schools, sporting clubs, workplaces and community groups to strengthen social connections in individuals, families and communities.
Roosters Platinum Partner Unibet - who have generously donated $100,000 to the charity - will graciously forego their back of jersey space to accommodate for Gotcha4Life in a bid to share an important message around mental fitness.
Match-worn and player-issued jerseys will then be auctioned off with all proceeds going to Gotcha4Life, with the opportunity for Roosters Members and supporters to make a bid when the Auction Site becomes live.
Gotcha4Life Cup 2022
Gotcha4Life founder and avid Roosters fan Gus Worland said that while Members and supporters will be looking to see their side take home the all-important competition points, that there is certainly plenty to get out from the awareness the cup will bring.
“The key thing we want everyone who watches this match to take away is that mental fitness is as important as physical fitness," Worland said.
"You need to train to be your best and it really helps to have a coach. When we talk about training, from a mental fitness point-of-view, we’re talking about anything you do to ensure that you’re in a good mental state to overcome the stresses and challenges that everyday life throws at us.
Sometimes as footy players, we shy away from it and don’t talk about our emotions. Sometimes it might feel like there’s no one to talk to but there’s so many people out there, especially in our team – our staff, family and friends.James Tedesco Gotcha4Life Ambassador
"It could be exercise, or spending time with loved ones, but even more so it is about talking to a mate about how you are really feeling, and getting beyond the banter to support each other.”
“When we talk about coaches, we see that as our role. Gotcha4Life offers educational programs that teach people how to boost and maintain their mental fitness."
Roosters Captain James Tedesco - a proud ambassador for Gotcha4Life along with Sam Verrills - spoke on the importance of speaking up and focussing on mental fitness.
"I found out early on that being honest has been good for me," Tedesco explained.
"Sometimes as footy players, we shy away from it and don’t talk about our emotions. Sometimes it might feel like there’s no one to talk to but there’s so many people out there, especially in our team – our staff, family and friends.
"There are so many people you can rely on. The main thing is to get it off your chest and don’t let it weigh you down.”