La Trobe University and the AFL Players’ Association hosted an intimate breakfast symposium to create dialogue on the important issue of elite athlete welfare.
SCA’s Cameron Butler, Steven Webster (Carlton Chaplain) and Tim Harrington were invited as guests of the AFLPA to hear from Olympic gold medallist Mack Horton, Melbourne City FC women’s Captain Steph Catley and 300-game AFL player Nick Dal Santo on the pressures and uncertainties of high performance and high profile sports.
La Trobe Senior Lecturer David Lowden, drew insightful commentary from the panel members and Dave Williams, an accomplished sport psychologist provided expert context highlighting that ‘just because they have super abilities doesn’t mean they are super humans.’ Furthering, that elite sports people are over-represented in “…dealing with clinical psych issues.”
Just because they have super abilities doesn’t mean they are super humans.
Mack Horton encouraged the audience to “Help sports people tell their story… the back story. Good or bad, because it brings meaning.”
Whilst, Steph Catley said, “I love coming home to family.” “Having mum ask me how i was going? Not just about sport, was so good.” Saying she loved home because it, “plays a big part of my life.”
Nick Dal Santo said he regularly challenged other team mates on “Who are we listening to? The media, our mates on Facebook?” Saying, “Social media is so pervasive.” He reiterated the importance of not allowing too many voices affect you as a player, stating, “Whose standard do you live by?”
Dal Santo, openly reflected on the monotony of playing and winning in 2009 with the Saints. Saying, “The best time of the week was an hour after the match.” when he, “didn’t have to think about football.”
The event saw a sold out room of industry leaders, sport executives, higher education, and government representatives. See here for more information on La Trobe University Sports.