Former Leeds Rhinos women’s team star Lois Forsell and three players from the Stanningley amateur club feature alongside Prince Harry in a video promoting Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021)’s mental fitness charter.
As part of the five-point charter, RLWC2021 has made a commitment that by the final game of the tournament, it will have trained every player, team official, match official, teammate and volunteer to look after their own mental fitness and that of those around them.
The groundbreaking programme was launched with a short film featuring Forsell, who talks about her personal journey with mental fitness following a career-changing injury and how rugby league helped her.
Stanningley’s Danny Salkell, Bradley Poole and Euan Henderson also take part along with the Duke of Sussex, patron of the Rugby Football League, who has lent his support to the Charter.
RLWC2021 will also teach young people about the importance of looking after their own mental fitness and deliver awareness-raising workshops to 8,000 young rugby league players and their parents and families.
At a grassroots level, coaches will be trained to continue to deliver mental fitness workshops to ensure a sustainable tournament legacy.
Rugby League isn’t just a sport, it’s a community and one that takes care of its own. For many years, it has been at the forefront of promoting and supporting good mental fitnessPrince Harry
The charter builds on the work already being done within the rugby league community, through the likes of sports charity Rugby League Cares in the form of health initiatives and education sessions.
Chief Executive of RLWC2021, Jon Dutton said: “At RLWC2021, we want to use the platform we have within sport to help highlight the importance of taking care of both your mental and physical health.
“We’re certain of having world-class action on the pitch during the tournament and with millions of viewers tuned in from around the globe, our mental fitness campaign will create a lasting impact across the globe in helping rugby league communities get ahead of the game.
“We’re the first major international sporting event to introduce a mental fitness charter and are determined to make a real impact with people both inside and outside of rugby league, and help to set a precedent for how sporting events can make real change within the communities where they operate.”
In the video message, Prince Harry says: “Rugby League isn’t just a sport, it’s a community and one that takes care of its own.
“For many years, it has been at the forefront of promoting and supporting good mental fitness, working hard to build a positive mindset for everyone involved in the sport so I am proud to support the Rugby League World Cup 2021 mental fitness charter.
“This charter will build on the brilliant work already happening in rugby league by committing to training and educating all those involved in the tournament and the wider rugby league family not only in how they can look after their own mental fitness, but also support others to do the same.”