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A total of 25 players from Super League, Championship and League One clubs, plus recently retired players, were offered financial assistance with a wide range of vocational and academic courses in the latest round of grant applications.
They range from business management and mortgage advising to barbering, counselling and electrical installation, and feature one-day courses through to Open University degrees running over six years.
RL Cares has also awarded a grant to Toulouse Olympique Ben Evans to become a qualified crane supervisor via the Construction Plant Competence Scheme.
The 28-year-old former Warrington and London player said Covid-19 had given him the impetus to press ahead with his plans to work within the construction industry.
“RL Cares have been great, the process of applying for a grant could not have been easier and the advice I got from their career coach Julie Measures was very helpful,” said Ben.
“I’ve been undecided about what I want to do next for years but then a mate suggested I take this route: there is always going to be work for the construction industry and this is very much a career for life.
“It’s also a similar environment to being a player, because you’re part of a team and need to work with other people. I don’t think I could sit behind a desk for the rest of my life once I stop playing rugby.”
Widnes Vikings back row Sam Wilde has begun a Level 1 Carpentry and Joinery course at Warrington College after being awarded a grant by Rugby League Cares.
“I’ve been thinking ‘What’s next?’ for a while and when lockdown began it helped focus my mind,” said Sam.
“I did a Personal Trainer course a few years ago when I was at Warrington Wolves but that didn’t appeal. Getting a proper trade seems the right thing to do.
“The suspension of the Championship season has given me the opportunity to apply myself to getting qualified and thanks to RL Cares I’ve started that process.
“As a rugby player you never know what’s round the next corner: not many of us will get to play into our mid-30s.
“I’d advise any player who needs help sorting out their future to contact RL Cares for advice and help with training.”