Rugby league unites to boost young people’s mental fitness

Rugby League Cares, RLWC2021 and the RFL have linked up to support junior players at community clubs across the UK who have been struggling with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The cancellation of matches and training as well as social distancing measures introduced during the lockdown have been felt by many young people.

And now RL Cares, RLWC2021 and the RFL are teaming up to deliver a series of mental fitness and resilience workshops to players aged between 12 and 18, their coaches and supporting adults.

The 45-minute long workshops will be delivered online by former professional players who have undergone specialist training with RL Cares.

RL Cares’ head of grants Emma Goldsmith said: “The lockdown has not been an easy time for any of us but it has been particularly tough on some of the most vulnerable people within rugby league communities.

“The sport has a wonderful, proven ability to change behaviours for the better and lift the mood of participants of all ages: for the last 100-plus days our young people have had all that taken away.

“After speaking to coaches and club officials, it’s clear that many teenagers are suffering low mood and feeling frustrated by what’s been happening in their world.

“Our workshops will get across the message that it’s okay not to feel okay and that there are ways to feel better.

“Playing rugby league boosts both physical and mental health: the workshops will give young people tips and advice on managing their mental welfare so that when the restrictions are lifted and they can start playing again, they will be in the best emotional shape.”

RLWC2021 legacy director Tracy Power added: “In January we launched our Mental Fitness Charter with the aim of making a difference to those playing and coaching rugby league across England.

“Since making that commitment we have faced an unparalleled global crisis that has significantly impacted the mental health of our young players

“By working with RL Cares to support the virtual workshop programme we hope to make a positive difference, that will provide young players with the help and advice they need to during this difficult period and beyond.”

The RL Cares mental fitness and resilience workshops for young people aged between 12 and 18 will begin on July 13 and are open to all community rugby league clubs. To book a workshop, or for more details, email competitions@rfl.co.uk.

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