7th December, 2021 — Mental health

Staying connected on your off season

Community sports clubs are places where we make friends, have fun and socialise. Especially as the effects of the COVID pandemic are still being felt, our clubs can help support members and families’ mental health too.

Socialising and playing sport are also important ways a lot of Australians manage stress.

When you’re on the off season, your members might miss some of these things.

So, we’ve put together some easy ideas that your club can use to keep everyone feeling connected.

Club activities for the off season

Keep everyone’s skills up

  • Have monthly skills nights. Every few weeks, you can get everyone together to practice their drills and skills, so that when your season rolls back around, they’re ready to go! Follow up with a BBQ so everyone can socialise.
  • Do online skills challenges. Create a challenge through your Facebook group or page, or another online channel. Get members to send in videos of themselves practicing, like Gungahlin United FC. This one works especially well for kids and can be a fun activity for them to do.

Social events

  • Hold a fundraiser event. In the middle of your off season, you could hold a big fundraiser event to bring everyone together. Either for your club, or a local cause that’s important to your community. You could hold a trivia night, bingo, a BBQ or a dance night. Check out more ideas on the fundraising ideas page.
  • Casual catch-up. A casual family BBQ at your home ground or local park is always a good idea. It’s a great chance for everyone to catch up and talk about what they’ve been up to.

Make your catch-ups virtual

  • Schedule a virtual club dinner. Many platforms offer video calling and multi-way video calling, including Whatsapp, Skype, Google Hangouts, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and House Party.
  • Have a distance movie night. The streaming service Netflix is offering ‘Netflix Party’, which synchronises the video and creates a chat. If you use a different service, counting-down to hitting ‘play’ over the phone and texting while you watch will work too.

Try an activity together

  • Try a new skill together. Pick a YouTube tutorial for a new skill, such as painting or drawing, origami, makeup, dancing or cooking. Recruit your members to all attempt the same tutorial and share your results.
  • Sign up for a fitness class. Many gyms are now offering online classes for yoga, Pilates, and other living room-friendly exercise that you can sign up for together. There are free classes available online as well. Invite members along for a group session.

Get competitive (or co-operative)

  • Play some games (not your usual one!). Set up a games night for members and families. Bring board games and take turns. There are also free versions of classics like chess, mah-jong, dominos and scrabble-type games available online to keep you entertained and connected.
  • Try out roleplaying. You can do this in groups in person, or remotely with members further away. Roleplaying games (RPG) like Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) or Pathfinder are popular. For an online session, set up your session via Skype or Google Hangouts, and download a free RPG dice rolling app if you don’t have your own set. Players can also use one of the range of online platforms for RPGs.

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Mental health