Men’s health at the fore as golfers gather for Annual Farmworks, Fuel and Fertiliser Golf Day in Cuballing

Daniel RooneyNarrogin Observer
Ross Ditchburn and event organiser Ashley Wilkins.
Camera IconRoss Ditchburn and event organiser Ashley Wilkins. Credit: Daniel Rooney

Regional Men’s Health Initiative chair and former Carlton full-forward Ross Ditchburn has “absolutely captivated” a room full of recreational golfers with his story of being diagnosed with prostate cancer at 52.

Mr Ditchburn was in Cuballing on September 7 to raise awareness of men’s health issues as he attended the 11th Annual Farmworks, Fuel and Fertiliser FFF Golf Day.

“It’s been an awesome day,” he said.

“The weather has been perfect and the cause is really good.”

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Regional Men's Health Initiative chair Ross Ditchburn.
Camera IconRegional Men's Health Initiative chair Ross Ditchburn. Credit: Daniel Rooney

After the tournament, Mr Ditchburn shared his experience of prostate cancer with the crowd openly and frankly.

“I got involved with Regional Men’s Health after I had prostate cancer when I was 52,” Mr Ditchburn said.

“No one should die of prostate cancer these days and it frustrates me when I hear on the radio that 10 blokes a day are dying from prostate cancer.”

Mental health and the importance of maintaining relationships in the community were also raised by Mr Ditchburn.

“Not having good mates isn’t good for you,” he said.

“Having good mates is part of the healing process for any sort of problem you might have.

“That’s what these sort of days are all about, getting out and talking to your mates and if someone’s not here they should give them a ring to see if they’re OK.”

Event organiser Narrogin FarmWorks branch manager Ashley Wilkins said the day had brought the rural community together and lessened the stigma around men’s health issues.

“Ross had the room absolutely captivated, the way he delivered his message was really well done,” he said.

“He talked about some heavy-hitting subjects.

“People came up to me later in the evening telling me that they weren’t expecting the talk but it had been really good to hear.”

Mr Wilkins said discussions about mental health issues took place throughout the day on the greens as well as in the clubroom.

“These things shouldn’t be secrets,” he said.

“We need to be there for our mates, we all need help sometimes and getting together like we did for a worthy cause is important.”

About 150 golfers gathered in the clubroom for a talk on men's health and presentations.
Camera IconAbout 150 golfers gathered in the clubroom for a talk on men's health and presentations. Credit: Daniel Rooney

The FFF Golf Day raised $2000 for a local family that has recently experienced hardship and Mr Wilkins said being able to help others in their time of need was what community was all about.

“It’s great to be able to do these things, to give back to the community that gives us so much,” Mr Wilkins said.

“We like Narrogin and the surrounding communities and that’s why we have this event.”

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