AFL coaches promote men’s health

Most Australian blokes could relate – feeling sick, too busy at work to visit the doctor, try to push through.

It’s a mindset that put North Melbourne coach Brad Scott in hospital as he missed last Friday night’s big AFL win over Richmond.

“I probably should have gone and seen the doctor earlier than I did,” Scott admits.

While Scott is back working at the Kangaroos, his scare highlighted the stressful demands of life as an AFL coach.

His episode was also timely, with the AFL Coaches Association again promoting men’s health week from June 13-19.

Fellow senior coaches Alastair Clarkson, Damien Hardwick, Justin Leppitsch and Alan Richardson were at Melbourne’s Epworth Hospital on Wednesday to support the initiative.

Two years ago, Clarkson was forced to miss five weeks during the AFL season because of a serious illness.

Clarkson noted most men are diligent about putting their cars in for scheduled services, but far fewer pay attention to regular health checks.

The four-time premiership coach said he has always paid attention to factors such as sleep, diet, alcohol and exercise.

“I still happened to get this illness – they don’t know why and I’ve recovered very, very well from it,” Clarkson said.

“(But) you just have to be so diligent.

“The difficulty with my illness in particular is we still to this day don’t know what led to it.

“Albeit, you’d have to think the work hours and the commitment you make to your work life has contributed to it in some small way.”

Men’s health remains an issue hitting close to home at Hawthorn, with much-loved star Jarryd Roughead starting cancer treatment this week.

This is the third year that the AFL coaches have supported men’s health week.

The focus of the coaches’ promotion this year is the serious health problems associated with increased body weight.

One of their key messages is if a man’s waist measures more than 94cm, he needs to lose weight.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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