University rugby team kicks goals for mental health

27 MAY 2021

University rugby team kicks goals for mental health

The Wagga Agricultural College raised almost $20,000 for Rural Minds to help 200 people attend the program to improve their mental health.

  • Charles Sturt’s Wagga Agricultural College raises almost $20,000 for Rural Minds

They might make some big tackles on the field but a Charles Sturt University rugby union club has shown their softer side by giving back to the community.

Wagga Agricultural College Rugby Club has raised almost $20,000 for Mind Project during their annual charity day.

The club has held its annual charity day for the past six years, raising more than $75,000 for numerous charities, including the Black Dog Institute, Country Education Foundation of Australia, and the Epilepsy Foundation.

The chosen charity this year was Rural Minds and WAC raised almost $20,000 for the organisation through auction of special game jerseys and signed rugby memorabilia.

Club president Mr Patrick Lemmich said most players come from a rural community and know the importance of having access to adequate mental health services.

“Being the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Rugby Club, many members are from rural communities so this charity was close to the heart of many of our members,” he said.

“Over the past decade, rural communities have suffered substantial hardship through drought, bushfires and floods, all of which take a toll on the mental well-being of people from those areas.

“As well as supporting the charity, we wanted to ensure that members of our club and the wider community know that seeking mental health services is not something to be embarrassed or ashamed about.”

First-grade players wore jerseys with the Rural Minds logo on the front, which were auctioned at the post-game function, and booklets with information about the charity were distributed at the game.

Mr Lemmich said it was important for a university football club to support charities as it was a way of contributing to the wider community.

“It allows us to give back to the community and help people that are in need,” he said.

“Supporting charities which support rural communities is quite special … it is great that we are able to use our club to put money back into these areas, which will benefit Wagga Agricultural College Old Boys, our members and their families and the wider community.”

CEO of Rural and Remote Mental Health Mr Joe Hooper said the generous donation will enable 200 people in rural and regional communities, such as Wagga Wagga, to attend the Rural Minds program.

“This donation means more people will learn how to actively care for their own mental health, more people will learn about suicide prevention and more will be connected to pathways to help,” he said.

“Most importantly, we will potentially save lives.”

If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 or the University’s after-hours support line on 1300 572 516 or text 0480 087 002.

Media Note:

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Nicole Barlow at Charles Sturt Media on 0429 217 026 or

Photo caption: Bachelor of Veterinary Science students and WAC members (from left) Pat Lemmich, Liz Young, Meg Seis, Ellie Burnett and Riley Catts.

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Wagga Wagga Charles Sturt University Health Society and Community