Press Release

QBE Foundation joins R U OK? on new campaign looking out for Australia’s sporting community


QBE Foundation is proud to back charity partner R U OK?’s new campaign to equip community coaches with resources to help identify and support members of their sporting community who might be struggling.

The ‘Hey Sport, R U OK?’ campaign aims to promote a culture of mental health awareness in the grassroots sporting community which, according to the Australian Bureau Statistics (ABS)1, is made up of around 5.2 million Australians involved in both playing and organisational roles.

Co-Chair at QBE Foundation Australia Pacific, Jon Fox said that the insurer is proud to back the Hey Sport, R U OK? campaign, which is instilling a very important message into a significant number of Australians across many different communities.

“QBE has a long history of involvement with sport, partnering with leading sports teams in Australia for over 30 years. This includes our partnerships with Sydney Swans and NSW Swifts, where we extend our support from elite athletes right through to Youth Academies that nurture the next generation. We recognise the importance of mental health awareness across all levels of the game and are delighted to back the Hey Sport, R U OK? campaign to support the broader sporting community.

"QBE will encourage our elite sport partners to share the resources throughout their clubs and promote the campaign at a grassroots level."

Phase one of the campaign, launched today, aims to direct sports coaches across Australia towards the online resources that will help them spot the signs that someone might be struggling and guide them through what to say and do in the event one of their athletes, players or sporting colleagues is not okay.

A second phase will follow later this year focusing on supporting coaches with activating the program and embedding an authentic R U OK? Culture into their teams, players and communities.

R U OK?, CEO, Katherine Newton says sport has a crucial role in the community.

“Sport can break down barriers, reduce stigma and provide a safe and inclusive environment where everyone can thrive. But for that to happen everyone needs to play their part, none more so than coaches. All our feedback and advice points to coaches as having the most influential role in grassroots sport and the opportunity to change lives.

“We are sadly, too often contacted by sporting clubs and associations who want to host games or activities to honour members of their sporting community who have died by suicide. This has highlighted the need for a proactive approach and has led us to develop the ‘Hey Sport, R U OK?’ campaign.

"The audience for these resources is significant as is the potential positive impact because sport talks to all age groups across economic, regional and cultural demographic markers."

Visit ruok.org.au/sport to learn more about Hey Sport, R U OK? or download the resources.

About the QBE Foundation

The QBE Foundation partners with impactful not-for-profits around the world to protect vulnerable communities, enable financial resilience, strengthen their health and wellbeing, and to build more inclusive, sustainable communities. QBE Foundation’s Australia Pacific arm works across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. Find out more at: www.qbe.com/au/about/sponsorship-community/the-qbe-foundation 

About R U OK?

  • R U OK? is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with friends, family and colleagues who might be struggling with life.
  • R U OK? Day is an annual national day of action; held on the second Thursday of September and a reminder that every day is a day to start a conversation.
  • R U OK? Day was launched in 2009 by founder and adman Gavin Larkin who tragically lost his father to suicide in 1995. Larkin (who died of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2011) wanted to spare other families the grief his family endured.
  • A spark of an idea has since become a national movement aimed at encouraging friends, families and workmates to ask the question of anyone they are worried about, in a genuine and meaningful way.
  • Conversation tips and crisis support contacts can be found at www.ruok.org.au 

For more information:

Sarah Bond
Senior Communications Specialist
QBE Australia
Mobile: +61 466 028 302
Email: sarah.bond@qbe.com


1Australian Bureau of Statistics (2015). Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2013-14, cat. no. 4177.0, Canberra, ACT