The HMAS Cerberus Navy Community Engagement Program team and Navy Steam Club supported Men’s Health awareness in a very ‘blokey’ way on March 23. The two groups held the first Australian Street Rod Federation (ASRF) Blokes Day Out at a venue that may be considered bloke heaven, the Sandown Park Race Course in Melbourne.
In creating the Blokes Day Out, event organisers from the ASRF ‘took the check up’s to the guys’, combining a passion for cars with a clear message on men’s health.
Event Chairman, Steve Bridges, an ardent Street Rod enthusiast and member of the ASRF, sees the event as the perfect way to bring attention to the love of specialty vehicles while encouraging men to take their health seriously.
“We didn’t expect the immense interest and support we received. Frankly, our idea making it this far and this big is really by accident. What started as an idea to show people what street rods mean to us while supporting men’s health, turned into a major event with 47 men’s health services keen to convince men of the importance of their own health,” Mr Bridges said.
“There’s a stigma attached to street rods and clubs similar to ours – we’re often seen as unsavoury characters, but ‘Rodders’ are actually masters with their hands; they’re artisans really. This is new to us, but if we save even one life by holding Blokes Day Out, it’s well worth it.”
With 2014 being the ‘Year of Health and Wellbeing’ for HMAS Cerberus, this was an event that Executive Officer, Commander (CMDR) Mike Oborn, CSM, RAN, was glad to promote among the ‘blokes’ and ‘bloke-ttes’ of Cerberus.
“Last year Cerberus proclaimed a ‘Year of Participation’ to encourage our men and women to reconnect with each other through sports and clubs. It went amazingly well,” CMDR Oborn said.
“This year is our ‘Year of Health and Wellbeing.’ We can’t underestimate how important it is that we each find a personal goal; from achieving a personal best in fitness to giving up a bad habit – for ourselves or our families. Blokes Day Out is perfect in getting that message out there and prompting men to look after their health. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that you get a great family day looking at some fantastic cars. It’s a bit like ‘bloke’ nirvana really.”
The first Victorian ASRF Blokes Day Out was labelled a success with over a 100 men’s health providers and vendors present to entertain and inform crowds. Organisers were pleased with the news that men who attended the health services stands were made aware of problems they didn't know about, with at least two men strongly advised to head straight to a hospital emergency ward. It is expected the event will be held again early March 2015.