Staniforth playing off-field role

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Tom Staniforth has played just one game for the Brumbies but he is already playing a big role off the field.

Staniforth has been heavily involved with the Brumbies’ work with local organisation Menslink that aims to increase discussion around mental health issues that affect young men.

He and other Brumbies players have visited schools, speaking to young men about the concerns that they might face in life and answering questions.

“It’s a very valuable program in the Canberra community and it’s really involving the kids and giving them a chance to ask question,” he said.

“It’s a big thing that it is for males because... sometimes they try to bottle things up so I think it’s a very important part of the Canberra community.”

In his own life, Staniforth said he had plenty to be grateful for, not least of which being his job.

“I’m a Canberra boy and I get to come to training and play for the brumbies,” he said.

“I had a great year with the (Canberra) Royals, obviously won the premiership which was pretty special and I’m just very grateful to be here.

“There’s a lot of people doing it tougher - I’d hate to go to work and be a labourer and do actual proper work.

“Everyone has ups and downs but work for me isn’t one of them.”

Martin Fisk from Menslink said the involvement of the Brumbies in the program was important.

“The Brumbies are role models,” he said.

“They’re footy players out there in the community in a sport that’s a pretty tough sport.

“Having guys like Tom come out and talk about how (concerns are) perfectly normal and you can make it through tough times much faster by not staying quiet about it and making sure you talk to people about your problems.

“After all silence is deadly.

“Too many young fellas who are bottling things up and then exploding in anger or having real serious problems down the track.”