Two young male football players high-fiving.
The program is expected to reach 60,000 people in community AFL clubs.Image by: AFL
Two young male football players high-fiving.
11 May 2023

Partnering with the AFL to improve mental fitness

2 minutes read time

Movember are proud to be partnering with Australia's top sporting code, the AFL, to deliver Movember Ahead of the Game (AOTG) to 60,000 participants in community football clubs across the country. Together, we’re harnessing the power of football to help build more mentally fit communities.

What is Ahead of the Game?

AOTG is a mental health literacy and resilience program that will educate young players, youth umpires (aged 12 to 18 years) and their support networks (parents, coaches, and club volunteers) on the importance of mental health. Teaching them how to spot the signs of poor mental health, how to talk about mental health challenges, and how and when to seek help. AOTG equips participants to navigate life’s challenges both on and off the field.

Using sport and technology to engage young men

The program is supported by an evidence-informed resilience app, which is designed to engage young players through interactive activities. These activities give participants the tools to further develop their long-term resilience skills.

The evidence behind Ahead of the Game

AOTG was developed by leading experts from the University of Wollongong and is the only youth mental health literacy program endorsed in an evidence review commissioned by the AFL in 2020. The mental health literacy components of this program are backed by a 5-year international program of scientific evidence.

How the program is rolling out

This year the AFL have engaged sixteen community, sport and mental health organisations to deliver AOTG into junior footy clubs in VIC, TAS, QLD, NSW and NT, with the aim to be in all States & Territories in 2024.

This program is free to local footy clubs across Australia, and coaches and club representatives are encouraged to register their interest on the website. Visit to find out more.

Want to know more about Ahead of the Game? Head here to learn more about how and why the program works to improve mental health outcomes for young people.