Richmond Football Club team up with VicHealth to encourage women – and all staff – can be more active in their day-to-day lives.
The Tigers are partnering with VicHealth in their Find Your Motivation campaign, which targets women aged 25 to 44 and aims to promote existing exercise opportunities, shift attitudes towards exercise, and provide easy tips to motivate and increase physical activity. And, the 131-year-old AFL Club, is practicing what it preaches, making it easy for office-based staff to find their motivation and get active during the course of their working lives.
Richmond’s All Roles Flex program – launched on International Women’s Day, March 8 – enables office-based staff to fit their work commitments around their own unique, personal requirements for flexibility in the workplace.
The club’s General Manager of People, Culture & Performance, Dr Amanda Green, said this has seen flexibility around a range of employee activities and working arrangements outside traditional carer and childcare arrangements, with many electing to flex their working lives around the need to get active.
“We’re quite open about saying flexibility is important to us and if it’s important to you too, let’s have a conversation, whatever your needs,” said Dr Green. “We’re offering flexibility around anything that will help our people’s resilience, health, physical and mental wellbeing.”
Among the examples, a member of the club’s media team with a heavy match-day workload who takes time out in the week to exercise because she is not free to workout on weekends, a member of the consumer team who exercises before work, arriving later in the morning to begin their sedentary phone-based role, a member of the administration team who chooses to drive to work outside rush hour so she can walk her children to school each day, and a member of the finance team who times work to fit around coaching duties with his daughter’s basketball team.
“We’re blowing up the way we do things and challenging the perception that work can only be done within strict hours and at a desk. There’s no reason why our staff can’t head outside if they need to read a document or want to go for walking meetings,” she adds.
To this end, the Tiger’s ‘Ambush Walk’ sees the entire admin staff walking and talking their way around the MCG’s Yarra Park complex five times during the AFL season. So named because the collective noun for a group of tigers is an ambush, Dr Green said the walks are a great way for employees to connect as a club.
“Being in the business of football means many of our office-based team members are active people so the walks are an innovative way of tapping into their desire to be up and out and not sitting at their desks.” said Dr Green of the initiative, introduced in early 2014.
The walks, which set off at 9am, are followed by a post-game review with Richmond’s General Manager of Football. “When your workplace is the subject of intense scrutiny from the media and the public, as a football club often is, this process is a great way of getting everyone engaged and on the same page,” said Dr Green.
“Walking doesn’t have to be an intense form of activity so our Ambush Walks are accessible to all. By having the walks in everyone’s calendar people are very motivated to be there, get active, get out and get set up for the weeks ahead.”
“Find Your Motivation is all about people finding ways to get active that work for them,” said Richmond Football Club’s CEO Brendon Gale. “This initiative is a perfect fit for the Tigers existing culture which promotes mindful movement and recognises the importance of being fit, healthy and well to clear thought, decision making and focus.”