Rugby League Cares to launch men's mental health fitness programme in Halifax

Rugby League Cares has announced that Offload, its hugely successful men’s mental fitness programme, is coming to Halifax.

Saturday, 27th March 2021, 5:00 pm
Updated Monday, 29th March 2021, 9:22 am

Offload is already being delivered at six professional Rugby League clubs, Featherstone Rovers, Leeds Rhinos, St Helens, Salford Red Devils, Warrington Wolves and Widnes Vikings who will be joined by Bradford Bulls, Halifax Panthers and Huddersfield Giants.

The programme is a free 10-week course of one-hour fixtures designed to equip men with the skills, tools and techniques needed to manage their own mental health and provide help for others.

Offload fixtures usually take place at the host club’s stadium and are led by former Rugby League players, who share their own life experiences in dealing with stress, anxiety, depression and other challenging situations.

Kevin Larroyer is involved in the programme

The presenters include ex-internationals Keith Senior, Lee Crooks, Paul Wood, Robbie Hunter-Paul, Johnny Lawless, Shaun Lunt, Paul Broadbent and Kevin Larroyer.

RL Cares Head of Community Emma Goldsmith said: “We are thrilled that Bradford Bulls, Halifax Panthers and Huddersfield Giants have joined the expanding Offload family and are looking forward to enhancing the lives of men across Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees.

“Offload is proven to work: since 2017, more than 2,500 men have taken part in Offload and taken away lots of advice and insights that have helped turn their lives around.

“Offload has a fantastic ability to not just change lives, but to save lives as well. The fixtures are a great way for men who may be struggling, or who know someone who is having a tough time, to tackle sensitive issues in an engaging, fun and confidential way.”

The delivery of Offload in Bradford, Halifax and Huddersfield has been made possible with support from the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership.

Paul Mitchell, Head of Foundation at the Bradford Bulls Foundation, said: “Many, many people are struggling with the pressures of Covid and more will do so in the aftermath. Mental fitness has always been critical but now, more than ever, we need to do as much as we can to provide support to those who need it.

“Whether you’re struggling due to unemployment, lack of social contact or financial problems, or just need an outlet beyond the four walls at home, we’re here for you. The Bulls Foundation is proud to support the wellbeing of the people of Bradford through our delivery of the fantastic Offload programme.

“We hope to make a positive difference for the men who take part and we will provide long term support for their overall fitness and wellbeing.”

Chris Mitchell, Project Lead at Halifax Panther Foundation, said: “We’re looking forward to working with RL Cares to deliver this fantastic programme to men in Halifax and across Calderdale.

“Our involvement in Offload builds on the success we had with Back Onside, which helped men tackle their physical health. It’s just as important for everyone to look after their mental fitness and Offload has an important part to play in that.”