‘It’s in­spi­ra­tional to hear other’s sto­ries’

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Your Views -

A WIDNES Vik­ings pro­gramme which uses rugby league to help men build their men­tal fit­ness has been praised by a par­tic­i­pant.

Off­load is a free weekly ini­tia­tive de­liv­ered in part­ner­ship with the in­de­pen­dent char­ity Rugby League Cares.

Par­tic­i­pants have the op­por­tu­nity to learn from for­mer play­ers, coaches and ref­er­ees, on how to man­age stress and stay men­tally re­silient.

Andy McLain, a reg­u­lar at­tendee, has praised its im­pact in en­gag­ing men and break­ing stigma.

He said: “Men, be­ing men, don’t like to talk about prob­lems and keep things bottled up.

“But you come to pro­grammes like this, you’re able to talk to other peo­ple who have suf­fered men­tal health chal­lenges.

“It’s great to have heard from rugby play­ers, who pass their ex­pe­ri­ence on to help oth­ers deal with ● stress­ful sit­u­a­tions in ev­ery­day life.”

At Off­load, guest speak­ers from the world of rugby league openly tell their sto­ries to con­nect with par­tic­i­pants.

Andy said: “Danny Sculthorpe’s was a re­ally good and in­for­ma­tive ses­sion.

“He speaks from the heart.

“It was in­spi­ra­tional to hear how he over­came the chal­lenges he ex­pe­ri­enced through hav­ing to re­tire early through in­juries.”

Off­load is free, in­clu­sive and open to all, and Andy hopes that oth­ers will join.

He added: “I would rec­om­mend it to any­body.

“There are lots of peo­ple here and a good mix char­ac­ters. You find as the weeks go on, you get to know ev­ery­one and have a bit of ban­ter.”

Off­load par­tic­i­pant Andy McLain

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