Adelaide Football Club player Anne Hatchard is running in the Louisiana Marathon in January 2024 with a goal to raise $42K ($1000 for every kilometre run) for childhood mental health.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for young Australians with 1 in 6 children recently affected by a mental health illness.
Hatchy’s marathon effort will give more South Australian children access to the Open Parachute Program, which develops child and youth resilience to overcome the challenges life throws at them.
Every $30 raised will enable another child to participate in the Open Parachute throughout 2024.
“Growing up, from around 14 years old, I really struggled with depression and anxiety. There were many days through my teenage years where I hit rock bottom, having extremely low self-esteem and confidence. A lot of the time I was unable to get out of bed and go to school and I would offload my sadness and anger on my family. During these times sport (basketball) was a massive outlet for me and I am not sure what I would have done without it.
I started playing football at 16 years old and was lucky enough to get drafted to the Adelaide Football Club in the inaugural year of the AFLW competition in 2017. My first 2 years at the club I lacked self-confidence and I wasn’t at the level physically. I was in and out of the team and this is something I really struggled with. It made me doubt my ability and whether I deserved to be in the team. After my second season, I was terrified I may be delisted and my AFLW career cut short. I decided that I wasn’t going to let this happen, so I got my eating habits on track and I started running. I HATED running. But the more I did it and the better I got, the more confidence and self-belief I built.
From the moment of stepping into the pre-season of season 3, I was a completely different person physically and mentally. I became a better player, teammate and person.
Since that point, running has become a joy of mine. I still have some bad days, just like everyone, but I have grown into a stronger, happier and more confident person. I am passionate about helping others along their journey and being a role model to young girls and boys.”