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Roosters and Sea Eagles to go head-to-head at Gotcha4Life Cup

The Sydney Roosters and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles will raise funds and awareness of the importance of building mental fitness at the annual Gotcha4Life Cup which will be contested in the Round 23 fixture between the sides at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Thursday, August 3.

Supported by Platinum Partners Unibet and Shaw and Partners Financial Services, the Roosters and Sea Eagles will put aside their on-field rivalry to share an important message around mental fitness in their Round 23 NRL fixture at the SCG on Thursday, August 3.

Gotcha4Life Founder Gus Worland explains, “The reason these two teams play for The Gotcha4Life Cup is that we have friends and ambassadors in both teams – James Tedesco from the Roosters, and Daly Cherry Evans and the Trbojevic brothers for Manly.”

“I have supported the Roosters for 50 years and living on the Northern Beaches means that I have grown up watching these two great clubs battle it out. I have a clear memory of being on the hill at 4 Pines Park during last year's Gotcha4Life Cup.

“I couldn't help but pinch myself because it felt surreal - I couldn’t believe this amazing event was actually happening. The icing on the cake is the fact that this game also serves as a fundraiser.

“Thanks to the invaluable support of the event sponsors Unibet and Shaw and Partners Financial Services, alongside the dedication of the two clubs committed to our cause, every dollar raised contributes to building and delivering mental fitness workshops, tools and resources that will help shape a more mentally fit future for us all,” added Worland.

Beyond a bit of friendly rivalry on and off the field, Worland said that there is a message he wants everyone to take home after the match.

“After leaving this match, I want everyone to think about the people they cherish and love in their lives, while also working to build their own mental fitness,” said Worland.

“When we talk about building mental fitness, we’re talking about anything you do to help you to feel better able to cope with the stresses and challenges that everyday life throws at us. Building our mental fitness makes it easier and more comfortable to have open and honest conversations with the people we love.

“Every donation to Gotcha4Life goes towards funding educational programs and resources that teach people how to boost and maintain their mental fitness,” he added.

Roosters vice-captain Luke Keary spoke about the importance of having more conversations about mental fitness.

“I think the stigma of mental health has been broken down a lot since I first joined the NRL,” said Keary.

“I’m seeing a lot more of the boys opening up to each other and think it’s great that we’re beginning to have more conversations about mental health and mental fitness.

“I make sure that each week I’m filling up my own cup and giving back to myself to make sure my mental health is in check. That might be having a game of golf, catching up with a mate that I haven't seen for a while, ringing Mum and Dad or checking in with my brothers. Doing little things like that definitely makes you feel better,” he added.

Speaking about the importance of talking about your feelings, Sea Eagles Captain Daly Cherry-Evans added: “As a young kid my father was always teaching me to be tough and I think this is an expectation of footy players. I found the best thing that I can do is be vulnerable and show emotion.

“I’ve found there’s a direct correlation between my own mental fitness and how I perform on the footy field. Having a clear head and living a healthy and balanced lifestyle has definitely had a positive impact on my footy career,” he added.

Unibet and Shaw and Partners Financial Services will each be donating $100,000 to the Gotcha4Life Foundation, making a grand total of $200,000 to go towards the foundation’s mental fitness programs and resources, now delivered Australia-wide.

The Gotcha4Life logo will be displayed on both the Sydney Roosters jerseys and the Manly Sea Eagles jerseys. The match-worn jerseys will be auctioned at the conclusion of the match with all proceeds going to Gotcha4Life.

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Gotcha4Life is a not-for-profit foundation with a goal of zero suicides, taking action by delivering mental fitness programs that engage, educate and empower schools, sporting clubs, workplaces and community groups.

Along with their partners, they deliver workshops and sustainable training programs and resources that help create meaningful mateship, build emotional muscle, and strengthen social connection in individuals, families and local communities. They focus on early intervention and the power of prevention through connection because they know we are all stronger, together. Gotcha4Life was established as a not-for-profit foundation in 2017.

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.