“Honesty”, “transparency”, “mateship” aren’t just buzz words that get casually thrown around sporting clubs. For LFC they are clearly defined and tangible aspects of their club.
There we were; gathered at the pre-season camp. A full senior group cramped into a tiny room at Greens Beach. Over the course of the weekend, 3 different players got up the front and shared their story, highlighting some of the difficulties they are facing. You could have heard a pin drop, such was the intensity in the room.
The stand out moment was when a trembling young man got up and shared his story.
Between tears Josiah told his team mates of his mum’s shock diagnosis of terminal cancer and her expected timeframe of only a few short months.
At this point Josiah couldn’t share anymore so he and I went for a walk. Mitch got up and filled in the details for when this young man faltered. From that moment forward the entire club rallied behind this young man.
He and I continued to dialogue throughout the year as his mum repeatedly fought off the disease and prolonged her life. It culminated in an emotional fortnight of football where she came to speak at a home game before she passed just a few days later.
Hours before her passing I went for a walk with this young man just prior to a training session. Josiah had just been to say goodbye to her and would return to her afterwards. Football was his escape and his safe place. It was his support network.
We rejoined the rest of the team just as Mitch began to address the playing group. He informed the team of the current situation and there was a collective breath as they shared in the pain that their team-mate was in.
Mitch asked me point blank: “How do you think he’s coping.”
“Really well,” I answered.
As I reflected on that question I came to the conclusion that Josiah had arrived at a place of peace. He’d clearly done the internal work of resolving grief over the preceding months. Grief is non linear so there would still be ups and downs, but all things considered he was doing exceptionally well.
For this young man to handle such adversity so well is a clear sign of the impact of our partnership; LFC’s deliberate environment of support of which our chaplaincy service plays a key part.
Watch Josiah's Story.
Thank you Launceston Football Club (LFC) for creating cultures of support for young people.
Football clubs are full of young men. This stage of life is characterised by constant change in the significant domains of life being vocation, relationships, living arrangements and social life. Each of these change moments has the potential to derail a young persons life due to the anxiety and stress associated.
A preventative approach to wellbeing is to provide support to young people as they transition through these periods of change.
By successfully managing these moments, the young person reduces the health burden by not adding to it at the clinical end which requires far greater intervention and resource. Furthermore it equips them with the skills and self-efficacy to manage future change in a healthier manner.
We’re so grateful that we have the Launceston Football Club who is passionate about seeing young people excel on and off the field.
Thank you, LFC for reaching out to partner with us. It is an honour to provide Sport Chaplains to you club and we’re so grateful for your partnership.
Josiah's story is just one of many at LFC.
Click the button to read our 2021 Impact.
Thank you to our Jude’s Village for your support. Your contribution is creating small group communities and support systems where young people can thrive.