The outstanding support given to the sport’s communities by Rugby League Cares and the Rugby League Benevolent Fund will be celebrated across dedicated rounds of Betfred Super League, Championship and League 1 fixtures this month.
Betfred Super League Round 13 (May 19-22) will see the return of the Tackle The Tough Stuff campaign and a focus on mental and physical wellbeing. Super League in partnership with Rugby League Cares will highlight some of the most pressing issues surrounding physical and mental health.
During the focus week, several high-profile current and former players will be sharing their deeply personal stories around issues such as; domestic violence, dealing with grief, online abuse and racism.
Betfred Championship and Betfred League 1 clubs across fixtures played between May 15 and May 22 will also celebrate the success RL Cares is having promoting strong mental fitness in towns and cities wherever Rugby League is played.
A fully-branded RL charities tour bus will be at key fixtures during the dedicated rounds, giving fans the opportunity to learn more about the important work of RL Cares and the RL Benevolent Fund.
The bus will be at Keighley Cougars v Rochdale Hornets (Sunday May 15) and Batley Bulldogs v Leigh Centurions (Monday May 16), and will help Tackle The Tough Stuff at Warrington Wolves v St Helens (Thursday May 19), Salford Red Devils v Castleford Tigers (Friday May 20) and Hull KR v Catalans Dragons (Saturday May 21).
Other activities will also take place across the weekend recognising the tireless work of two organisations that work tirelessly to help people across the Rugby League family in both good times and bad.
Tim Adams MBE, the Chairman of both RL Cares and the RL Benevolent Fund, said: “We are very grateful to all the clubs taking part in this dedicated round which recognises the important work we do across all communities where Rugby League is played.
“Our support for the game’s most important stakeholders, the players, is a key aspect of what we do, and we are proud and privileged to work with the clubs in this area.
“The towns and cities where Rugby League is loved have had it disproportionately tough in recent years and we remain committed to doing all we can to keep people safe, happy and healthy through our ground-breaking health programmes.
“We rely heavily on grants and donations to be able to make a positive contribution to people’s lives and would like to thank all the organisations and individuals who support us.”
RL Cares and the RL Benevolent Fund are fully independent charities that provide support to players past and present and Rugby League fans of all ages, as well as being champions of the sport’s great heritage and history.
RL Cares has responsibility for delivering player welfare services to athletes involved in all three professional competitions: this support ranges from crisis intervention to tackle issues such as addiction and poor mental fitness to providing education and training grants to help players prepare for their next stage of their careers post-rugby.
Ground-breaking and celebrated mental fitness programmes from RL Cares have made a massive, positive difference to the lives of tens of thousands of people in recent years. Offload, which was originally designed to tackle poor mental health in men, is now being delivered by former RL stars to male and female fans, emergency service personnel and frontline NHS staff across Rugby League communities.
The ‘RL Cares for NHS’ programme is being led by former Warrington player Paul Wood, who is witnessing an uplifting response from healthcare workers.
“I knew before I got involved with RL Cares that the staff within the NHS did an amazing job but it’s only in the last few months that I’ve come to realise the enormous pressure they’re under,” said Paul.
“’RL Cares for NHS’ is achieving stunning results by showing people across the NHS, from consultants, surgeons and nurses through to porters and ancillary staff, how best to manage their mental fitness, and I love being involved in this life-changing programme.”
This year over 30,000 young people will take in Movember Ahead of the Game, a programme delivered by RL Cares as part of RLWC2021 Mental Fitness Charter that sets out to ensure the stars of tomorrow grow to become as healthy, happy and successful as they can be, both on and off the field.
RL Cares also takes care of the sport’s historical records and collections, which are housed in a state-of-the-art facility within Heritage Quay at the University of Huddersfield, and runs the RL Hall of Fame, which currently features the 28 greatest players in the history of Rugby League.
The RL Benevolent Fund provides critical and lifelong support to players (and their families) who have suffered life-changing injury on the field of play. Whilst it performs a function of RL Cares, it remains independent with its own board of trustees who manage and distribute ring-fenced funds to seriously injured players in both the professional and community games.
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