Rugby League Cares is joining forces with Rugby League World Cup 2021 and Movember to equip the sport’s communities with the skills and techniques needed to enjoy good mental wellbeing.
The partnership builds on the success of the charity’s Offload programme, which over the last three years has established a proven track record in not only changing lives, but saving them as well.
As official partners of RLWC2021’s InspirationALL legacy programme, RL Cares and Movember will deliver ‘Movember Ahead of the Game’ campaign – an initiative devised specifically for rugby league which focuses on improving youth mental fitness through community sport.
RL Cares and Movember have teamed up to create Ahead of the Game and will use their wealth of experience to deliver RLWC2021’s Mental Fitness Charter.
Working with community rugby league clubs across the country, Ahead of the Game will reach 8,000 young athletes, 8,000 parents and 360 coaches, with the aim of improving mental resilience in adolescent athletes and raising mental fitness literacy and awareness among players, families and coaches. Planning is already well underway for the first mental fitness sessions being hosted in Leeds and Trafford in early October.
The partnership has been announced on World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 and comes less than a week after the Office for National Statistics published heartbreaking figures showing that suicide rates in the UK are at a 20-year high.
Concerningly, the Yorkshire and Humber region has the highest rates in the UK among both men and women and the North West rates are above the UK average.
The theme of World Suicide Prevention day 2020 is ‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide’: RL Cares will continue to work alongside Movember, RLWC2021, Mental Health UK and other agencies to offer assistance and guidance to the whole rugby league family.
Emma Goldsmith, head of community at RL Cares, said: “We are looking forward to working together with RLWC2021, Movember and Mental Health UK on campaigns that will equip the rugby league family with the knowledge, skills and techniques needed to tackle issues around mental health.
“Our partnership builds on the important work RL Cares has been undertaking with the wider rugby league community over the last few years and will allow us to continue to support some of the sport’s most vulnerable people going into next year’s tournament and beyond.”
Tracy Power, RLWC2021 legacy director said: “The ONS figures demonstrate the need for action and the RLWC2021 Mental Fitness Charter aims to make a positive impact on Rugby League communities through the ‘Power of Together’.
“We are extremely grateful to Rugby League Cares, Movember and Mental Health UK for their outstanding contribution in making sure that the challenges around mental health and the necessary support are highlighted by this world-class event.”
In the lead up to the tournament, RL Cares will also work with Mental Health UK and RLWC2021 on a resilience programme which is aimed at 14-18-year olds in elite sports performance pathways. The programme will be delivered to professional clubs’ scholarships (14 to 16-year-olds) and academies (16 to 18-year-olds).
Through their work with RL Cares, Mental Health UK began engaging with the player welfare managers of all professional clubs with academies and scholarships last month. In response to interest, they will begin with follow up workshops at Huddersfield (September 14) and Castleford (October 5).
Movember has a proud legacy acknowledging World Suicide Prevention Day by challenging the role everybody can play in preventing suicide.
Listen to The Final Hooter podcast, featuring exclusive interviews, every week. SUBSCRIBE to Love Rugby League on Apple Podcasts.
More on site