Rugby League United to defy Coronavirus by building mental fitness

Rugby League is coming together like never before to preserve and enhance the mental and physical fitness of players, coaches, fans, match officials and administrators during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

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:  

· Looking after yourself during social distancing  measures;   

· Staying active at home;   

· How to look after your nutrition and how this affects mental fitness;   

· Links to 24-hour support;   

· How you can manage your stress and anxiety during this period;   

· How to promote good relationships at home if you are feeling stressed. 

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. 

For more information and help on managing your mental fitness, please visit the RL Cares, RFL, Super League and RLWC2021 websites, or follow the Twitter page @Offload_RL