The AFL Coaches’ Association has launched a new Men’s Health Week initiative to encourage men to take control of their health, teaming up with Chemist Warehouse to have men “Play Peeball for Prostate”.

AFLCA CEO Mark Brayshaw said at the launch that raising awareness of men’s health and wellbeing issues continues to be a priority for the AFL coaching community.

He says this year’s initiative aims to highlight the importance of men getting their prostate checked, in a fun and light-hearted way, using AFL coaches to destigmatise and break down barriers.

Men are traditionally bad at looking after themselves and often feel invincible anyway, he says, particularly those in the “danger zone” of 45-plus who often have busy jobs and don’t see their health as a priority.

In addition to this, the stigma attached with the much-maligned examination process means many men ignore symptoms or fear going to their GP for a check-up.

“Play Peeball for Prostate” involves a Pee Ball device, providing men with a fun, quick test that can show early signs of prostate issues. Using the Pee Ball as a tool, the campaign asks men to take the challenge and see how quickly they can break up the ball with their flow.

This could possibly make them aware of a weaker flow that might have otherwise gone undetected.

“Through the backing of the AFL senior coaches we want to bring this issue into focus and encourage better health; we’re delighted that Chemist Warehouse is supporting the initiative by encouraging men to play Peeball, and by donating all proceeds to the Australian Prostate Cancer Research to enable them to continue their good work,” says Brayshaw.

AFL medical director Dr Peter Harcourt commended the AFLCA for placing the issue of men’s health firmly in the public domain and for focusing on prostate cancer.

“One in five men are diagnosed with prostate related illnesses and that is a statistic that has huge implications on our families and wider community,” Dr Harcourt says.

Chemist Warehouse COO Mario Tascone said Chemist Warehouse is delighted to again be part of the initiative.

“Getting men talking about their health and wellbeing is the first step; now we are able to help even further by providing a tool to start the conversation, and challenging men to ‘Pee for Prostate,’ with proceeds of the Pee Ball to go to Australian Prostate Cancer Research.”

He says the Pee Ball will be available from every Chemist Warehouse shop.