BENDIGO Football Netball League chief executive Justin Abrams is hoping his new foundation will raise awareness of youth mental illness and suicide.
Footy4Life is a new initiative that aims to support and engage young people in regional centres through football.
Abrams said the foundation planned on implementing a range of programs to help assist vulnerable and disadvantaged male and females.
He said the not-for-profit organisation is something he was passionate about after two of his friends committed suicide.
“Footy can be a serious game and Footy4Life is about raising awareness for the people who are having a tough time,” Abrams said.
“People can come and have a kick and hopefully we can start breaking down some barriers.”
Abrams hoped the vehicle of football would provide an opportunity to change lives and create positive change in the community.
He said there was a gap in the market for young people.
“The foundation is inclusive,” Abrams said.
“We are offering participants the opportunity to have fun and take their minds off their day-to-day struggles and demands of life.”
Abrams encouraged the community to get behind the new initiative and invited football clubs and businesses to support his vision.
“By partnering, sponsoring or contributing a donation you will be assisting in the research and education into youth mental illness and suicide,” he said.
Aussie Jones, Rick Ladson and Andrew Bews, are among the foundation ambassadors.
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