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Staying connected, for life

Gotcha4Life are in the middle of running #COLIV19. It’s a simple concept: once a day, for 19 days, reach out to someone you think could do with a bit of support.  

Photo credit: Gotcha4Life

It’s a campaign that’s resonating and there’s no bigger advocate for staying connected and speaking openly about how you’re traveling than Gus Worland. 

A not-for-profit foundation, Gotcha4Life is a mental health organisation that was set up just over three years ago to reverse the tide of declining mental health and to reduce suicide throughout Australia. Gotcha4Life is based on the idea of building mental fitness and is focused on support networks – identifying your ‘Gotcha4Life Mates’ who you can speak to about anything at any time without fear of judgment or repercussion.

Veteran Sport Australia and Gotcha4Life share similar perspectives and motivations around mental fitness and taking a proactive approach to support. Already the two organisations share a connection through the Invictus Games Sydney 2018. It’s a relationship that continues to grow closer and stronger. 

Gus Worland is the founder of Gotcha4Life. You might know Gus as a radio host, a TV personality or even as an Australian cricket tragic.

Gus was also an Ambassador of the Invictus Games in Sydney. 

Photo credit: Australian International Military Games

“I was thrilled to be invited to be an Ambassador. The Invictus Games epitomises what courage, guts, determination and love is all about,” says Gus. “Australians love sport, love our country and love our military. We’re very proud of our men and women in uniform and to have the Invictus Games in Sydney was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate those awesome people who are special in so many ways. It was just the most incredible week.”

Gus started Gotcha4Life on the back of a TV program he did on the ABC in 2016 called ‘Man Up’, which shone a spotlight on male suicide in Australia.  

“Man Up challenged masculinity in this country. I think we did it in a way that was quite confronting but also understandable – people got it, people were nodding along,” says Gus. “Off the back of Man Up, Gotcha4Life just had to be something I did.” 

We recently caught up with Tim Hodgson, who is the CEO of Gotcha4Life, for an interview (check it out our Facebook page). Tim was also a key member of the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 organising committee.

Photo credit: Gotcha4Life

“I was the Head of Commercial and Marketing for the Games in Sydney,” says Tim. “I spent two or three wonderful years preparing for a scary deadline, meeting some incredible people and being inspired by all the Invictus Games competitors and alumni. I still get goosebumps thinking about it. We had this amazing journey.”

“Veteran Sport Australia is part of the legacy of the Invictus Games. I’m very proud that VSA is going and that it’s something very tangible out there that is continuing to deliver on what we were trying to achieve in the Invictus Games and all those years ago when we started thinking about bringing it here to Australia.”

Tim’s well-versed in the benefits of sport for wellbeing, particularly for veterans and their families. 

“I heard so many Invictus Games competitors talk about the way that they look after their physical and mental wellbeing as simply being active and connected,” says Tim. “It’s what sport does. It gets you out there, it gets you active and it gets you connected to your teammates.”

Look out for Veteran Sport Australia and Gotcha4Life joining forces in the near future and make sure you get involved in #COLIV19.