Ocsober: Why you should get involved!

Aussie cricketing legend, Matthew Hayden, explains how taking a break from booze for the month of October can improve both your quality of life, and the life of Aussie kids.

Ocsober encourages Australians everywhere to take break from the booze over the month of October.
Binge drinking and alcohol abuse is a growing problem in our nation, but by breaking the cycle of alcohol consumption in your daily life, you can help Aussie kids to live a safer, happier and healthier lifestyle.
The funds raised from Ocsober will equip young Australians with the right skills, education and tools to grow up with the confidence and knowledge to stand up to the pressures of alcohol abuse.
Woman’s Day chatted to Aussie legend and former cricketer, Matthew Hayden, to find out more about how Ocsober can help both you, and the lives of our kids.
Matt first took part in Ocsober five years ago at his wife Kellie's suggestion. The two are now ambassadors. (Pic via: Ocsober.com.au)
What Ocsober means to Matt:
“I see the threat of alcohol abuse, and it has the ability to rip the heart out of people. Drugs and dependency are two things that destroy the most important elements of your home. Things like one punch assaults, alcohol fuelled violence and drink driving – it can tear families apart.”
The statistics speak for themselves, but on a more personal level, Matt explains why he chooses to break the cycle for the month of October every year. “It starts with me,” he says, adding: “If you want to change the world, you need to change yourself first.”
The former cricketer and his loving wife Kellie share three beautiful children, Grace, 14, Joshua, 11, and Thomas, nine.
Speaking of how they influence their decision to partake, he says: “It’s really important for Kel and I to just be in a home environment that allows us to be healthy, active, responsible and to be a role model for our children.”
Matt and Kellie want their three kids to grow up with the knowledge and strength to stand up to the daily pressures young Australians face.
What can a alcohol-free month do for you?
Ditching the booze and sticking to soda, Matt admits that he feels sharper in both his body and his mind.
“It can be difficult at first, because although I’m not a big drinker, my wife and I do enjoy a glass of wine to mark the end of running after the kids all day. I find this moment to be the hardest part of the cycle to break, but that in itself can be eye-opening. "
“After four or five days, rather than relaxing with a glass of wine to mark the end of the day, the kids and I pick up a football and get into to garden!"
“When it comes down to it, it’s all about breaking the cycle. Its 28 days where you say, ‘you know what? I’m going to take a break’, and in doing so you’ll discover just how much more productive you can be.”
The former cricketer notes just how much more active he feels after a few days off the grog!
Matt’s top tips for getting through it:
“First of all, replace beer with your runners! Swap out whatever you would be doing at wine time with your running shoes and get moving instead."
“Second, Take note and appreciate just how much external pressure comes with not drinking in social environments. Know this pressure, and multiply it by ten to fathom the amount of peer pressure kids face to try alcohol in their teens."
“Thirdly, understand that it’s not that hard! It’s just a month-long break in the cycle of the routine we can all fall into.”
Click here to register and find out more about how Ocsober helps Aussie kids!

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