• Tony Bosworth

Dad’s on Track’s More Torque Offroad Team helps blokes on the road to wellbeing

Blokes generally don’t like to spill their feelings. They’re not meant to do that. They’re meant to be tough, unbreakable, able to just carry on, just shoulder the weight.

But sadly, the simple fact is, six out of eight suicides every day in Australia are men, and the number who take their own lives every year are double the national road toll.

Bowen Mountain’s Nicole Lennox and husband Simon have themselves been touched by tragedy with the loss of one of their mates to suicide, so they decided to do something about it and have launched charity Dad’s on Track.

“Dad’s On Track aims to help dads who are suffering or have suffered, following family breakdowns or the loss of a child, to feel like they are needed and appreciated by making them part of an off-road racing team for a weekend,” Nicole told the Post.

Nicole and Simon Lennox

“We will take participants away to an official off-road buggy race for a weekend, cover the costs of licensing, club memberships, entry fees, accommodation, transport and meals, and provide them with an unforgettable and exhilarating experience.

“We aim to be able to also fund ongoing counselling/psychology sessions and provide them with a support network of other dads experiencing similar circumstances.

“We will also auction/raffle/sell merchandise that has been donated to the cause at off-road events to raise money for those directly affected by the loss of someone due to men’s suicide, for example children, parents or spouses.”

Nicole says many dads struggle with the trauma of family breakdowns and Dad’s on Track aims to get blokes to open up and realize they are not alone, and to speak up about their issues.

Getting to grips with the track and men's health at the same time

Upon witnessing the tragic passing of one of our friends, and having experienced severe depression in our own family, the idea to take dads away and give them some time out doing something exhilarating began,” Nicole said.

“We hear stories often of people we know and care about who are suffering yet feel there is no other route than that of suicide. We want to help remove the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and are incredibly passionate about helping as many dads as possible.

“There really is very little help for men, and especially dads, when it comes to mental health. Some men feel threatened by calling a helpline and speaking to a stranger about what they are going through.

“One of the major factors in men’s suicide is trauma directly resulting from family breakdowns. Men are often forgotten about and expected to just ‘cope’ with the situation and their emotions.

“They are either expected by society, or expect themselves, to be tough and keep their emotions concealed and just get on with it,” says Nicole.

The couple have a great team behind them who have helped on many different levels, from working on the vehicles, to behind the scenes, dealing with the logistics, and administration.

The group will be attending their first event this weekend, with two dads jumping in to navigate and enjoy the ride.

“We want to help dads feel wanted and appreciated and have a distraction from the stresses of the outside world,” said Nicole.

“We’re actively seeking supports and creating a portfolio of contacts that we can refer these men to, that will be able to assist them in areas they feel overwhelmed in such as psychology, legal, divorce coaching, counselling, etc,” says Nicole.

“We are working to remove the stigma that surrounds mens’ mental health and encourage men to talk more openly among their friends, family and our team, if they are struggling.

“We want to create an atmosphere that is completely non-judgmental and supportive that is more personal than a helpline. We want them to know they are never alone.”

Local businesses have already shown great support for their cause including Greg and Kelly from Signs On Site, Rydalmere, Crystal & Travis from On Point Gardening and Maintenance, Bowen Mountain, Leon from ARB Moorebank, Dave at Coldys Towbars & Bullbars Mulgrave, Daniel at APS Richmond, and Dean from Richmond Precision Machining.

“Ultimately, we would love to see Dad’s On Track operating all over Australia,” says Nicole. “With not only the off-road buggies, but also incorporating other avenues such as fishing trips, camping weekends, 4WD driving.

“We want to be recognised as a go-to for dads who just need an outlet, or who may need support, or just want to talk.”

Connect with the team at their Facebook page here.

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