Ex-players tackling mental health issues in coaching workshops

FORMER internationals such as Robbie Hunter-Paul, Keith Senior and Shaun Lunt are helping run workshops with junior coaches aimed at spotting mental health issues among young players.

Shaun Lunt will be helping out in coachng workshops. Picture: Tony Johnson.

Rugby League Cares is delivering Know Your Players workshops to all junior coaches in the UK.

The Rugby Football League plans to make them compulsory for all new grassroots coaches from September.

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The workshops are designed to help coaches identify the signs that their players may be struggling, and the best way to tackle it.

Know Your Players is part of the Ahead of the Game campaign, which RL Cares is delivering to all junior players in rugby league communities ahead of the World Cup in partnership with Movember.

RL Cares head of community Emma Goldsmith said: “As resilient as young people are, many of them have struggled with the impact of the pandemic and it’s not always obvious that something is wrong.

“Junior coaches are well-placed to spot the tell-tale signs that a child is struggling and Know Your Players helps coaches identify when there’s a problem and what the best course of action is.

“Know Your Players complements the other important work we are doing around mental fitness and underlines the charity’s ongoing commitment to break down the stigma around this issue.”

Elsewhere, Hull KR winger Ethan Ryan has signed a two-year contract extension.

He will now stay at Hull College Craven Park until the end of 2023.

Ryan, who turned 25 yesterday, has shown encouraging development since moving up to Super League from Championship side Bradford Bulls ahead of last season.

Rovers coach Tony Smith said: “I still think that his best is yet to come, and he does as well.

“That is part of why we feel that in the next two years he will grow and become a big part of our future and our success.”

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