Leeds Rhinos Foundation start delivery of Offload mental fitness programme

Leeds Rhinos Foundation has begun the delivery of the Rugby League Cares mental fitness programme Offload, with Rhinos legend Keith Senior running the first session at Emerald Headingley.

Offload is Rugby League Cares’ acclaimed men’s mental fitness programme that utilises the experiences of professional Rugby League players in coping with pressure and challenging situations to help men manage their own mental health.

Offload has already helped more than 2,000 men tackle issues around mental wellbeing since its launch in the North West three years ago and has been hailed by an academic study as a ‘sporting success city.;

Leeds Rhinos Foundation became the latest Rugby League Foundation to offer the programme and last month two groups attended the first season with Keith Senior which focused on “What is Mental Fitness.”

The group were encouraged to discuss their own definitions and experiences with mental fitness.  Senior spoke to the group about how much mental health impacts people’s every day lives and relationships at work and at home. The former Rhino, who now works full time for Rugby League Cares, also spoke about his own personal journey and opened it up to group discussion for others to share their own stories and struggles.

Rugby League Development Officer Sam Horner, who is leading the Offload project for Leeds Rhinos Foundation, said: “We are pleased to be working with Rugby League Cares on Offload.  It is a fantastic project that will really help the people who attend.

“We know it is important to look after our mental health, but that does not make it an easy thing to do and sometimes people do not have the tools to be able to do this. I think the content of the Offload programme is really well put together and the topics we cover will be really worthwhile and help those who attend. I am proud the Rugby League family is working together to offer this wonderful project .

“We are already running two groups and there has been a lot of interest in the project, so we are looking forward to expanding and offering more sessions at the stadium and at different locations across the city.”

The schedule for the next three weeks of the course is:

Tue 11th May – Mindfulness- Guest speaker Simon Brown

Tue 18th May – Positive Influences- Guest speaker Lee Crooks

Tue 25th May – Overview and celebrations- Guest Speaker Lee Jewitt

Each 45-minute fixture is hosted at the Foundation Community Hub in the South Stand of Emerald Headingley Stadium from 7.00pm to 7:45pm.

More courses are set to commence in June 2021, alongside community partners such as East Leeds ARLFC and New Wortley Community Centre. 

The current block of delivery is full, but you can register your interest in the forthcoming 2021 sessions by contacting Sam Horner on 07780 676132 or email Sam.horner@leedsrhinosfoundation.org.