It’s time to lace up and fight violence.
Junior players from Upper Swan Football Club will wear orange laces this weekend to raise awareness about social violence and how to combat it, as part of this week’s Step Back Think’s Lace Up campaign.
Upper Swan JFC will lace up with more than 150 grassroots sporting clubs, along with Ambassadors from the AFL and NRL clubs across the nation.
The campaign hits close to home for Upper Swan JFC, which was the club former WAFL player Marcus Adams played for in his younger years.
The Western Bulldogs star’s brother Luke Adams was seriously injured when he was assaulted in Perth in 2011. He sustained serious head injuries and in turn suffered significant brain damage.
Adams, who is one of 17 AFL Lace Up Ambassadors, said by working together, players, coaches and fans can help make our communities safer.
“The bright laces are a bit different and hopefully they catch everyone’s eye and trigger people to rethink their actions”, he said.
“My brother nearly lost his life to social violence. We spent six months sitting by his bed at hospital not sure if he was going to make it.”
Twenty Australians lost their lives to cowards punches or king-hit punches last year, in 2016, four in WA.
Step Back Think Chief Executive Anna O’Halloran said the organisation and the campaign is aimed at creating a future where social violence isn’t the norm.
“This new data shows that social violence is a significant national issue, costing some their lives and damaging countless others,” she said.
“That’s why we’re working with local and professional sporting clubs through the Lace Up campaign to mobilise communities and drive change from the ground up.
“Sport is central to the lives of young men and can play a powerful role in creating cultural change.”