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Steve joins the charity after 10 years supporting players at Huddersfield Giants in his capacity as Academy player performance manager and, for the last six years, player welfare manager.
He will work alongside RL Cares’s Director of Welfare Steve McCormack, Transition Manager Francis Stephenson and Community and Welfare Manager Keith Senior delivering welfare and wellbeing support services to the playing community.
Steve McCormack said: “We are delighted to welcome Steve aboard, he’s a valuable and important addition to the welfare team whose presence underlines RL Cares’s commitment to delivering a world class player welfare programme.
“Steve will help us enhance the lives of all the sport’s stakeholders, from junior players upwards, by providing opportunities for them to acquire information and learnings on issues such as building positive relationships, resilience and gratitude.
“Our aim is to help players become resilient, maintain positive and healthy relationship with friends and family and build a network of trusted people. All of these qualities and skills are essential for a player to thrive during their career and after they retire.
“A lot of his emphasis will be on positive psychology and enabling people to flourish by leading happy, fulfilling lives, both during and after their playing careers.
“Our transition programme has made huge strides under the leadership of Francis Stephenson over the last two years and Steve Hardisty’s appointment will enable us to replicate that success at youth and Academy level.”
Steve Hardisty said: “The sport’s player welfare provision has improved immeasurably since RL Cares became responsible for delivery two years ago and I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to work with such a great team.
“Rugby League now leads the way in so many areas of player welfare and I’m looking forward to playing a part in that success.
“Players are the sport’s most important stakeholders and we are committed to doing all we can with the resources we have to ensure they have the support they need to be successful in all areas of their lives.”