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The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been keenly felt in Rugby League communities and players, officials and administrators across all levels are working hard to deliver a sport that means so much to so many people.
Most people are showing patience and appreciation for that hard work, as well as continued faith in the game they all love, but in recent months there has been an under-current of misguided and often harmful negativity from some quarters, especially on social media.
Steve McCormack said: “In my role as Head of Welfare at Rugby League Cares, I see on a daily basis how hard everyone in our sport is working and how caring and passionate our stakeholders are.
“I see the sacrifices the players and coaches make to play the games; how our administrators are fighting hard to ensure our sport is thriving when Rugby League, like all sports and businesses, is going through trying times; how hard our match officials are working; the work our club CEOs are doing to ensure we have clubs to support; and the sterling efforts of our community clubs to enhance people’s lives on a daily basis.
“I also see the selfless work the medical staff and Covid officers do at clubs, under immense pressure, to ensure the health and wellbeing of everyone takes precedence.
“It is really important to understand that, even though we all look forward to watching our clubs in action at the weekend, the most important thing is the health of players and staff, and the health of their families. Nothing should compromise this.
“Unfortunately, I also see the impact of some of the unjust negativity the people in our sport receive. We all know that being involved in professional sport comes with pressure and public scrutiny and – in most cases – rightly so.
“However, the tone of some of the comments on social media, especially the hate-filled and ill-informed criticism I read on a daily basis, is both unnecessary and unacceptable.
“No-one in our great game, be they a player, an administrator, a match official or a fan of another club, deserves personal abuse.
“Thankfully, these people are very much in the minority and their behaviour has no place in Rugby League.
“We are rightfully proud of our sport’s ability to rally round and do the right thing when times are tough: we recognise the importance of community, of the wider Rugby League family and of the need to be decent, empathetic and honest.
“Now, more than ever, we need to embrace those values and recognise the impact our actions can have on the wellbeing of others.
“Like all sports, Rugby League is facing some considerable challenges in the post-pandemic era, but we have much to look forward to.
“None of us should ever lose sight of the fact that Rugby League is the best sport in the world, with the best supporters and communities that many are envious of.
“Let’s pull together, look after each other and make sure our game and all the people involved are able to flourish like we know they can.
“Rugby League Cares is proud of the role it plays in supporting our communities and we will continue to put Rugby League people at the heart of everything we do.”
The sport is proud to announce the launch of Rugby League United, a campaign led by the independent charity, Rugby League Cares in association with the RFL, Super League (Europe) and RLWC2021.
Rugby League United is a response to requests from Government, the NHS and Sport England for sport to take the lead in keeping people mentally as well as physically fit during these challenging times.
Working alongside players, community organisations and national mental health charities such as Mind and Samaritans, Rugby League United will equip people with the practical tools and techniques they need to stay in the best of health over the difficult weeks and months ahead.
The campaign builds on the fantastic work already undertaken by RL Cares and club foundations in delivering the Offload programme – a men’s mental fitness project aimed at tackling depression and anxiety, which has already engaged with over 2,000 men since its inception in 2017.
Coronavirus restrictions mean that face-to-face Offload activity has been suspended and replaced by ‘virtual’ support to Offload squad members: that support will now be extended to people at every level of the wider Rugby League family.
Rugby League United will see RL Cares, the RFL, Super League (Europe) and RLWC2021 work with current and former players to support the mental fitness of all communities. The campaign will offer guidance on areas such as:
There will be weekly live and interactive e-Offload sessions every Tuesday, including Q&As with current and former players, Mindfulness clinics and live sessions on how to look after your own and your friends’ and families’ mental fitness.
Sessions will be delivered through the easily accessible Zoom platform: links will be shared across the sport’s social media channels.
Rugby League United will also feature short videos filmed by current and former players which focus on how they are looking after their own mental fitness, alongside hints and tips on how you can look after loved ones, family members, close friends, and work colleagues.
1st Prize – Pair of tickets for 2020 Magic Weekend:Â Ticket number 02747
2nd Prize – Pair of tickets for 2020 GB Lions past players association lunch: 01883
3rd Prize – Pair of tickets for 2020 Challenge Cup Final: 03111
4th Prize – Signed 2019 GB Lions replica shirt: 04577
5th Prize – £10 Caffe Nero Voucher x 5: 04531 / 04401 / 00231 / 01258 / 04014
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