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Mates check in

Saturday, 15th June, 2019

Declan Stacey, Jenna O’Hea and Gordon Allan are in Broken Hill.  PICTURE: Emily McInerney Declan Stacey, Jenna O’Hea and Gordon Allan are in Broken Hill. PICTURE: Emily McInerney

By Emily McInerney

Three elite Australian athletes are in the city this weekend to speak to sportspeople about their experiences and the importance of mental health.

Declan Stacey, Jenna O’Hea and Gordon Allan arrived in the city yesterday as part of Lifeline and AFL Broken Hill’s ‘How’z Ya Mate’ campaign.

How’z Ya Mate is a Men’s Health awareness campaign being run by Lifeline and this is the third year it has been run in the city.

It is an holistic approach focusing on the overall health and wellbeing of local men, encouraging blokes to not only focus on their own health but the health and wellbeing of their mates.

As well as a function held last night at the YMCA Broken Hill Integrated Wellness Centre, this weekend is the AFL Broken Hill ‘How’z Ya Mate’ round.

The day will not only focus on mental health but the general health of men including physical and emotional wellbeing.

Twenty-five-year-old Declan is a diving champion and he recently made the move from gymnastics to diving.

“I changed from gymnastics to diving 18 months ago,” he said in his bio.

“I was a junior commonwealth champion at gymnastics, and seeing the Aussie flag go up was a super proud moment. 

“However, there’s only more to come with diving now.”

He recently won a bronze medal at the Australian Grand Prix held at the Gold Coast, where he competed against divers from China, Canada and the USA. 

Jenna (32) is an Australian professional basketball player who currently plays for the Melbourne Boomers of the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL). She is also a member of the Australia women’s national basketball team.

Jenna first wore the green and gold in 2004 and in the same year won the U/19 Oceania Championship and the WNBL’s Rookie of the Year award.

Making her Olympic debut at the London Olympic Games, Jenna and the Australians finished second in their pool after a costly 74-70 overtime loss to France. 

Despite going down to the Americans 86-73, Jenna and the Opals bounced back in the bronze medal match against Russia to take the win 83-74. 

Winning a bronze medal on debut, she led the Australians in assists in the tournament with 3.5 per game.

Young Gordon rounded out the experienced team with his silver medal win at the 2019 World Para Track Championships.

The 21-year-old aims to compete in the 2020 Toyko Paralympics.

Gordon is classified as a C2 cyclist. His cycling ability was spotted at an Australian Paralympic Committee talent search day at Blacktown.

He took up cycling seriously in 2013. In 2016 as a 17 year old, he won the Men’s Road Race and the Men’s Time C2 at the Australian Championships but he was not selected for the 2016 Rio Paralympics. 

Lifeline’s Operations Manager Marisa Pickett said the campaign had continued to grow over the years.

“In the past, we’ve had locals tell their story but this year Lifeline Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport were able to offer custodians in sport,” she said.

She said each custodian needed to have lived experience and reason why they would make a good representative.

“It happened earlier this year and we were really lucky it all fell into line.”

Marisa said the YMCA event looked to be popular with the four football clubs sending representatives to hear the athletes talk.

“The initiative targets men, because they don’t often talk as much as women do,” she said.

“It’s about getting them to open up. It’s been a really great campaign.”

The athletes also spoke with both high schools and today Declan will be speaking with the Gymnastics Club.

Tomorrow, Jenna will be running a basketball clinic and Declan will be speaking to a swimming club.

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