23 Feb 2021

MENTAL FITNESS SESSIONS DELIVERED TO ACADEMY PLAYERS

BRADFORD Bulls are one of a number of clubs to deliver the ‘Your Resilience’ sessions – the Mental Fitness programme designed by the RLWC 2021 team, Rugby League Cares and Mental Health UK!

The ‘Your Resilience’ programme aims to raise awareness and encourage conversations about mental health, whilst providing the tools to help build mental resilience and promote the importance of wellbeing to young people aged 14-18 in elite sports pathways.

The initiative has been successfully rolled out at Rugby League academies across the country, reaching over 168 scholars and academy players.

Building on the great work being done in mental health across community Rugby League with Movember’s Ahead of the Game programme, RLWC2021 and Rugby League Cares, together with Mental Health UK (MHUK), are excited to extend the delivery of ‘Your Resilience’ to the academies and scholars of professional clubs across the country.

Huddersfield Giants, Wigan Warriors, Castleford Tigers, Newcastle Thunder and the Bulls are amongst the first clubs to deliver the programme, which has already helped more than 168 players develop their own resilience and tackle the challenges facing young athletes at the top of their game.

Raising awareness and encouraging conversations around mental health is at the heart of the programme, whilst giving players the tools to build mental resilience that will help deal with setbacks and challenges, both now and in later life.

The partnership between RLWC2021 and MHUK reinforces how mental and physical wellbeing go hand in hand and has never been more important due to the additional challenges and uncertainty caused by the pandemic. 

The programme will be co-delivered by practitioners from MHUK and club coaching staff over 6 workshops, providing valuable training for coaches in the club talent pathway to build on the mental fitness support provided to future stars of the game.

Katie Legg, Director, Strategy and Partnerships at MHUK, said: “To stay at the top of their game, young athletes need to make sure they’re looking after their mental health. ‘Your resilience’ helps them to understand their mental wellbeing and ways to deal with the kinds of challenges and uncertainty the last year has brought us. The legacy of this programme should serve them well for the future, both on and off the pitch, and so we’re delighted that Rugby League World Cup have been proactive to ensure their young players can access this support during the pandemic.”

Steve McCormack, Rugby League Cares Head of Welfare said: "This is another brilliant example of Rugby League’s commitment to supporting the mental wellbeing of people at every level of the sport’s communities.

“Professional athletes can face huge strains on their mental, as well as physical health and the Your Resilience programme will arm our young players with the skills and techniques they need to stay emotionally and mentally strong."

Tracy Power, RLWC2021 Social Impact Director added: “RLWC2021 will once again be reinforcing our commitment to mental health by rolling out the ‘Your Resilience’ programme across the elite talent pathways in Rugby League.

“The Office of National Statistics (ONS), has revealed that the Rugby League strongholds in the North of England suffer disproportionately in the area of mental illness compared to the rest of the country, and RLWC2021 have made it a priority that this is something we address.

“The Your Resilience programme is specifically targeted at young players on the talent pathway and compliments the wider community programme we are already delivering with Movember.”

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