18 October 2022
ASB has announced youth mental health charity Youthline will be the official charity partner of the 2023 ASB Classic.
As official charity partner, Youthline will receive all proceeds raised during the tennis tournament through fundraising efforts including ASB's iconic Lobbo event. Money raised will help expand the organisation's midnight to 8am crisis line to a full phone and text Helpline between these hours, enabling full support 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Youthline chief executive Shae Ronald says demand for its services has never been higher. "Our Helpline is sending and receiving up to 10,000 messages per week and the need for our services continues to increase. Our goal for 2023 is to extend our overnight Helpline services, so we can provide support to more young people. Funds raised through the ASB Classic, in combination with ASB's continued financial support, will help us to achieve this mid-next year, so we’re incredibly grateful."
Colmar Brunton research shows one in five young New Zealanders have used Youthline at some stage, highlighting the need for its services. ASB stepped up to be the charity's principal partner earlier this year, with the goal to connect more New Zealanders between the ages of 12 and 24 with mental health support.
ASB head of community and sponsorship Mark Graham says charity has always been a big element of the tournament with ASB choosing one of its community partners each year to benefit from the event. He said Youthline was a natural fit, particularly as athlete mental health has become a more prominent issue in recent years.
"Tennis is an incredibly mental game and many players have spoken openly and honestly recently about their own mental health, and in some cases the toll high performance sport can take. Normalising the conversation around mental health, is a key step in helping people to access support - to have athletes, a lot at the top of their game, do so is especially powerful."
"Over the years with support from everyone who attends the ASB Classic, we have raised several hundred thousand dollars for our community partners. Every bit counts and we're pleased to be able to highlight the critical work Youthline does for our young communities, and to help them reach their goals."
Funds raised throughout the ASB Classic will enable Youthline to expand the organisation's midnight to 8am crisis phone service into a full phone and text Helpline over this time. It will enable staffing and delivery of this critical service at the time of the night that many young people need it the most.
"We want all young New Zealanders to know that whatever they're going through, it's ok to reach out for help," says Mr Graham. "Supporting Youthline means we can ensure they have the right support when they need it most."