The Canberra Cavalry has thrown its support behind Lifeline Canberra in a historic partnership that will change the team’s official name to the Lifeline Canberra Cavalry ahead of the Australian Baseball League’s opening round on 18 December.
The naming rights for the Lifeline Canberra Cavalry will also form part of a number of initiatives, including branding on team jerseys and around MIT Ballpark as well as an exceptional member of the Canberra community being treated to a VIP experience during each of the Cavalry games as part of the Save-a-Seat Series.
The Cavalry will then bring in the New Year at their home ground against the Sydney Blue Sox in their opening home series, which will be the first of three back-to-back home series in January as part of a shortened season due to COVID-19.
The new-look structure for the 2020/21 season will see the Cavalry competing within the Australian conference, alongside Perth Heat, Melbourne Aces and Sydney Blue Sox across six weeks (24 games excluding play-offs).
Cavalry director Dan Amodio said he is proud to support Lifeline Canberra during this incredibly challenging year.
“These last 12 months have tested the mental health of Canberrans in extreme ways and I’ve been amazed by how gracefully Lifeline Canberra has risen to meet that challenge,” Mr Amodio said.
“Mental health is a key focus throughout our organisation and we hope this announcement will help us do our part in raising awareness for their cause and raising a lot of money for their organisation.”
Lifeline Canberra CEO Carrie Leeson said the opportunity to work with the Cavalry, players and supporters is a great way to raise awareness for mental health, supporting your mates and beginning conversations that may otherwise have never happened.
“This new partnership with the Lifeline Canberra Cavalry is truly special, to come together after such a challenging year to celebrate inclusions, mateship and the Canberra community is what Lifeline Canberra is all about,” Ms Leeson said.
“The Cavalry players are young leaders in the community and their commitment to professional sport keeps them healthy in body and mind. It is these attributes we need to share in order to help support those who are thinking of suicide.”
Cavalry mascot Sarge’s alter-ego Josh Williams has been a Lifeline ambassador for more than six years after he faced his own mental health issues and sought help from Lifeline with a phone call that changed his life.
“This is a fantastic initiative and a proud moment for myself to have the Lifeline logo on Sarge’s uniform,” Mr Williams said.
“It’s a great honour to take the Lifeline message in front of everyone, and to make sure that we all still realise there are organisations like Lifeline and others who are doing their bit to help.”
The Cavalry’s Lifeline ambassadors, player David Kandilas and mascot Sarge, will look to match last year’s efforts, including Sarge’s 10 km walk from Braddon to Narrabundah to raise funds for Lifeline Canberra. There will also be a string of other challenges Sarge is taking on board.
The support from the Cavalry comes as 50 new Lifeline crisis support volunteers came on board to meet the surge in demand.
Lifeline Canberra answered 3,113 calls during September – an increase of 17 per cent from 2019, which was supported by a funding boost from the ACT Government.
Ms Leeson said the funding was a reflection of the strategic change needed to ensure the organisation continued to support those in need.
“This funding is an acknowledgment of our efforts and outcomes as demand for our service continues to increase.
“Every call answered has the potential to save a life or change the lives of Australians in need. To our amazing Telephone Crisis Supporters thank you for all you do. We welcome the new Crisis Supporters to the Lifeline Canberra Team as they join the existing team of hundreds,” Ms Leeson said.
Lifeline is non-judgemental, confidential and accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week by phoning 13 11 14.
To learn more about the Cavs, visit Canberra Cavalry.