Gibbo and the Breakers support the Black Dog Institute

Coffs Harbour local, Ben ‘Gibbo’ Gibbeson will support a charity close to home when his Coffs Harbour Breakers take on the Sawtell Toormina Saints at Fitzroy Oval, Coffs Harbour on Saturday 6 July.

The AFL North Coast match will be raising funds to support the Black Dog Institute in recognition of 18-year-old Gibbeson’s experiences around mental health.

‘Mental health is something very close to not only me, but many members throughout our club and the entire community.’ Gibbeson said.

‘In our finals series last year, I was going through a tough time mentally both on and off the field and I received so much support from my teammates, the club and even some opposition players. This really helped me get through what I was going through, and I really appreciated the support. I now have a strong desire to help others out in the way that people were helping me out.’

On the day, both Senior Men’s and Women’s teams will wear specially designed lime green uniforms, the internationally recognised colour for mental health awareness, which will be sold to raise money.

There will also be a raffle held at the game with all attendees encouraged to get involved. Prizes have been generously donated by local businesses as well as a Sydney Swans guernsey up for grabs.

Paul Taylor, Community Football Manager, said that Gibbeson’s efforts are extremely impressive. “There aren’t many 18 year olds who would have the initiative, drive, and passion to do something as positive as this for the whole community. Gibbo’s efforts show young people everywhere that it’s OK to put your hand up and ask for help when you’re struggling.”

Gibbeson, a long-time Sydney Swans Academy member and AFL NSW/ACT Ram, said he hopes the match will increase awareness in the community of mental health and that people you least expect may be suffering.

“If this day can encourage just the one person to have the courage to speak up, then the day will be a success. I am hoping that this day will get the message across that it’s okay not to be okay.’

Coffs Harbour Breakers vs Sawtell Toormina Saints
Fitzroy Oval, Coffs Harbour
Saturday 6 July, 2:50pm