MEETING former Australian Cricket Team captain Steve Smith was one of the highlights for the boarders from Knox Grammar School during last term.
Mr Smith and Triple M presenter, Gus Worland, (who is a Knox Old Boy) were special guests at Knox Grammar School’s assembly in June as part of their work with the Gotcha 4 Life Foundation.
Mr Smith spoke about his mental health, anxiety, making mistakes and the importance of boys and men building a network of friends and family to support them through the tough times.
The boys had the opportunity to ask Mr Smith questions about his wellbeing, career, relationships and how many Weetbix he eats (“four to six, depending on how hungry I am”).
“He spoke about the importance of establishing a strong support network,” Knox head boarder Noah Derwent said.
“You need people who you can rely on to bring you up when you’re feeling down and stand beside you through your toughest times.
“The importance of not being afraid to reach out to your support network when you need them.
Speaking about the time the sanction came down, Mr Smith said: “To be honest, I probably spent four days in tears.
“I was really struggling mentally and I was really lucky that I had some close friends and family members that I could speak to at all hours of the day.
“The people that I had supporting me through that whole time made a huge difference to the headspace I’m in now.”
Gotcha 4 Life has the goal of saving lives and raising the mental state of boys, men and their families.
It was started by Knox Old Boy, Gus Worland, after he lost one of his best mates to suicide.
Following the visit by Mr Smith and Mr Worland, the boarding house staff spoke to the boarders about mental health and the lessons that can be learned from Mr Smith’s experience.
“[The visit] stimulated discussion about redemption, resilience and how you overcome difficult situations such as his,” Mr Derwent said.
“We mentioned it at house meeting as a great example of how to overcome difficult situations and the importance of utilising your support network.”
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