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Rugby League unites to boost young people’s mental fitness

Rugby League Cares, Rugby League World Cup 2021 and the Rugby Football League are teaming 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, restrictions on movement and social distancing measures introduced during the lockdown have been keenly felt by many young people.

Now the independent charity RL Cares, RLWC2021 and the RFL have come together to deliver a series of mental fitness and resilience workshops to players aged between 12 and 18, their coaches and supporting adults.

RL Cares has considerable experience promoting good mental health and will be using that expertise to equip teenagers with the techniques and knowledge that will enable them to manage their own mental fitness.

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

Emma Goldsmith, the Head of Grants at RL Cares, 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 OK not to feel OK 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.”

The partnership between RL Cares and RLWC2021 builds on the forthcoming joint Ahead of the Game initiative run in conjunction with Movember, the global men’s health charity.

Ahead of the Game will work with community Rugby League clubs across the country to with the aim of improving mental resilience in adolescent athletes and raising mental fitness literacy and awareness among players, parents, and coaches.

The mental wellbeing and resilience workshops programme will help teenage players tackle the challenge of lockdown until Ahead of the Game begins in the autumn.

Tracy Power, Legacy Director of RLWC2021, said:

“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, please email competitions@rfl.co.uk



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AS lockdown restrictions start to ease, now is the time for everyone connected with Oldham RLFC to do all they can to help with getting income from our Club Cash lottery back to where it was before the pandemic started to bite.

This is vital for the club and its finances which, as you all know, have taken a massive hit in the past 12 months.

Collectors will be returning to door-to-door visits in the next few weeks and we hope people who suspended payments will pick up where they left off as we strive and work hard to get back to where we were before the pandemic caused us to lose 50 per cent of our lottery income.

Many of our regular punters, who would normally pay a collector, have answered our calls for help by finding other ways to pay and to retain their chances of winning prizes.

To those people we are very grateful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their loyal and continued support.

The lottery, of course, is potentially one of our biggest fund-raisers and for as little as £1 a week — more if you wish — you can help the club immensely and at the same time have chances to win £1,000, £100, £50, £25 or one of ten consolation prizes of £10.

That’s the present prize structure. There’s every chance it will be increased once we are out of lockdown, door-to-door collections start again and we get back to some sort of normality.

In the meantime you can join, or start up again, by contacting the club on 07904 898177 or by email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

For more information about the lottery, and for the “great opportunities” provided by our partnership with the National Youth and Community Development Association (NYCDA) go our Club Cash page.

There, you will find all the results and a detailed statement about getting back to normal with the help of our not-for-profit partners.

All proceeds from the partnership will continue to support the club and help us to meet the aims of our Club Cash activities, particularly in its aims and objectives to be an active stakeholder in the local community.

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