Hindy shares his story

Wednesday, 10th May, 2017

Former rugby league star Nathan Hindmarsh has been spreading the message around the dangers of problem gambling in Broken Hill with the help of lifeline counsellor Greg Pearce. Former rugby league star Nathan Hindmarsh has been spreading the message around the dangers of problem gambling in Broken Hill with the help of lifeline counsellor Greg Pearce.

By Daniel Stringer

A former rugby league star was in Broken Hill yesterday to share his story with problem gambling and set an example for the younger generation. 

Nathan Hindmarsh is a former rugby league star who represented Australia on 23 occasions, however he was in Broken Hill yesterday to talk about a more sensitive topic.

Early on in his career Nathan had his own battle with gambling and he took the time yesterday to share his story with students at Willyama High School and students in the Clontarf Foundation at Broken Hill High School. 

“Early on in my career I had a destructive relationship with gambling and I put my hand up and asked for help and that is the message I deliver to school kids and community groups,” Nathan told the BDT. 

“It is just to give them my story about how I overcame it and let them know that if anything is bothering you then should put your hand up and ask for help,” Nathan said. 

Through sharing his story Nathan hopes he is able to set an example for the younger generation, as he says high school kids are starting to gamble much earlier. 

“I think a lot of high school kids are starting to gamble from a much younger age, with the access to iphones and tablets.

“They don’t have to go to pubs or clubs, they can do it in the privacy of their own homes so there are a higher number of people in the age bracket from 15-17 who are starting to gamble.” 

Joining Nathan for the session was Greg Pearce, who is a problem gambling counsellor with Lifeline Broken Hill. Mr Pearce says to have a high profile athlete like Nathan in Broken Hill is hugely beneficial to his cause in preventing problem gambling.

“For lifeline and ClubsNSW to have a high profile athlete like Nathan to come to Broken Hill, the representation is fantastic and it helps me in my role as a problem gambling counsellor,” Greg Pearce said. 

“We are concerned with the amount of young people who are gambling online and we need to squash that and hit it on the head before it gets too late,” Mr Pearce said. 

According to statistics, across NSW five percent of high school students have an issue with problem gambling. Mr Pearce says Broken Hill is not immune to this issue and he is starting to see the younger generation in the city become affected. 

“Problem gambling with young people is starting to raise its head in Broken Hill. 

“There are quite a few young people who have problems with gambling and it is fairly obvious. 

“Go into any school and ask the kids who has an iphone and they all put their hand up, ask them how many play poker machines on Facebook and half will put their hand up.”  

Nathan and Greg will now travel to Wilcannia tomorrow to continue raising awareness amongst younger people about the dangers of gambling.