New research by the Australian Red Cross had found one in four of all Australians report feeling lonely most or all of the time, and nearly all of us suffer from loneliness at various points in our lives. Loneliness isn’t just an upsetting or annoying feeling. It’s genuinely bad for your health.
Independent agency Thinkerbell has worked with Australian Red Cross to develop an idea that aims to raise awareness on the issue of loneliness, and it’s simply called, ‘Beat Loneliness’.
Beat Loneliness encourages anyone who is a part of a sporting team (such as esports, roller derby, touch, AFL, Netball, etc.) to jump online, register a free sporting kit for their team, and rebrand their team to ‘Loneliness’. Then, every team that they go up against in a competition will be faced with the challenge of trying to ‘beat loneliness’.
Red Cross has formed an unlikely alliance with esports team, Legacy Esports, to develop this project. Legacy Esports was the first sporting team in Australia to rename themselves ‘Loneliness’, and is calling on any other sporting teams or gaming groups to do the same. The esports team played under the ‘Loneliness’ banner and were livestreamed on Twitch.
Nathan ‘Cyrix’ Baxter, from Legacy’s Rocket League team, said, “Legacy Esports is an esports team, and like any sporting team, one of the best things about it is being surrounded by like-minded people who you know will always have your back. The esports league we belong to has created a community that helps people feel more connected, and less lonely. We love the support from our fans too. No one should have to feel lonely, and we are extremely excited and proud to team up with Red Cross to help #beatloneliness.”
Judy Slatyer, CEO at Red Cross says, “The friendships and sense of belonging felt in sporting and gaming communities is what makes this project so special. We want people to know loneliness doesn’t have to be a constant in their life.
“Your team, whether you’re a player or a fan, isn’t just a team, it’s also your support network. We are asking teams to join this campaign and play for a bigger cause this season. We’re widening the playing field and encouraging everyone to help beat loneliness.”
Adam Ferrier, consumer psychologist said, “#beatloneliness is a powerful idea as it helps ‘out’ the endemic issue of loneliness. Further, by teaming with Legacy Esports, Red Cross is helping to bust one of the biggest myths around loneliness that gaming culture, and social media in general are a significant cause of loneliness. In fact, often the very opposite is true. Many people claim that esports has been one of the vehicles that have actually helped them connect with others”.
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