Offload is Rugby League Cares acclaimed men’s mental fitness project which allows men to engage with current and former players to learn the techniques clubs use to manage players’ mental and physical fitness.
The project is helping challenge how the sporting world tackles issues such as depression and anxiety, and is already receiving widespread acclaim for its work.
Almost one in 10 men will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. Men account for 75% of suicides in the UK, the biggest cause of death for men under 50 and a leading cause of death in young men in England. Yet only 36% of people referred to psychological therapies in the UK are male.
Huddersfield Giants back row forward Kenny Edwards, has spoken about his own battles in life from a young age and how he has managed to overcome them. Now the Giants star wants to help others over overcome their demons and improve mental fitness by supporting Offload Huddersfield. “Experiences of my own and what I’ve been through, coming out of some dark places myself, when I heard about the project and being able to support people within the community who may have been through similar to what I had been through I jumped at the opportunity to get involved with the programme.”
Experts in men’s health, rugby players, coaches, fans and clinicians have come together to devise a mental fitness programme which has been tailored and adapted to engage and support men.
Men are invited to come behind the scenes of their home team, meet and talk with current and former professional players to learn techniques that Rugby League Clubs use to manage mental as well as physical fitness of their players.
Over the course of the 10-week ‘season of fixtures’, men build their own mental fitness, whilst having fun, in a relaxed atmosphere and develop coping strategies to challenge difficult situations and learn how to recognise when people close to them may need their support.
Huddersfield Giants Community Trust Head of Sport Dan Wilczynski had this to say about the project: “Being given the opportunity to deliver such an important project like Offload, which supports men’s mental fitness particularly after how difficult the past 12 months have been for us all is magnificent for both the trust and the area of Kirklees. We are all extremely excited to see this programme start to help make a difference to men within our community.
With the support of RL cares, Kenny, the club and others, the programme has huge potential to make a positive change and support men within our community. With Offload we have a really great opportunity to tackle mental fitness and make a positive change.”
Offload fixtures are available for men aged 16+ and free to attend. The project is a 10 week fixture block with presenters each week speaking about a range of topics. You can see the fixture list HERE.
Offload Huddersfield will begin its first fixture block on Wednesday 21st April 2021, 18:00 – 19:30 at The Zone, St Andrews Road, Huddersfield, HD1 6PT.
Squad members can participate in fixtures as often or as little as they feel comfortable with. The fixtures are delivered in a ‘no-pressure’ situation and all information shared at fixtures is treated in strictest confidence.
RL Cares Head of Community Emma Goldsmith added: “We are delighted to welcome Huddersfield Giants to the expanding Offload family and are looking forward to enhancing the lives of men across 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.”
Offload donations page: https://www.justgiving.com/rugbyleaguecares
For further information please email Head of Sport Dan Wilczynski, Dan@hgct.co.uk.
To book onto the block of fixtures starting Wednesday, 21st April 2021 please click HERE
*Please note that due to Covid restrictions we are limited to just 15 spaces to stay within the guidelines provided. All sessions will be COVID secure and participants safety will be our main priority throughout each session.
Great relationships with the children which promote mutual respect, clear boundaries and great behaviour for learning. Clear structure to the lessons with appropriate teaching points, plenary and vocabulary. I can see clear progress in terms of skills, techniques, confidence and understanding. Acts on feedback throughout the lesson from me and his own formative assessment.
Dan Gough, Heaton Avenue
PE lessons and support in PE lessons are great! Children are enjoying lunchtime clubs. Good relationships with children - building relationships. Sharing tickets to the rugby games with the children and encouraging them to try to watch different sports. The sessions during the breakfast club are extremely engaging and the majority of children who chose to go outside to take part in Jordan’s sessions they are also very fun based and extremely inclusive so all abilities can take part successfully., Jordan is always punctual and is pleasant with the children.
Tracey Dell, Head Teacher, Crossley Fields Junior and Infants School
Becky is amazing her delivery is great. She has a great rapport with the children. Her sessions are engaging and fun and she's teaching my staff a thing or two about sports delivery. All in all, we could not be happier.
Louise Brown, Head Teacher, Headfield Juniors
Rebecca has been brilliant in school. Her management in club time is fantastic and coping with Autistic and ADHD children in sessions as well. Her planning, activity organisation and management, as well as knowledge of the children, and rapport with everyone has been so professional we couldn't have asked for more. The children have really enjoyed all the sessions.
Debbie Douglas, Head Teacher, Saville Town
The sessions so far have been really good and exciting. Teaching staff have mentioned how engaged the children are and how happy they have been the way the lessons have been delivered. The school has been happy with the confidence of the person delivering the lessons as well as their knowledge and professionalism. It has helped teachers working alongside to gain ideas and development in their own practice. Overall the school has been very happy with the delivery of the sessions as well as the person (Jordan) delivering them. Thank You!
Nadeem Sarwar, PE Coordinator Spring Grove
Duane was brilliant, the children loved the sessions, as did the teachers he worked with. One teacher said, "I now feel skilled enough to deliver rugby to my class." The sessions were pitched at the correct level for different ages and the pace and behaviour management were excellent. Here's to next years sessions!
Dave Spencer, Hillside Primary School
James is doing an amazing job at Bruntcliffe. He teaches four very different groups throughout the day and is adaptable in his teaching. He has fit in with the team very well and the students are responding very well to his teaching.
Chris Lindley, Head of Physical Education, Bruntcliffe Academy
Duane's delivery of Sky Try Rugby was fantastic. The children left with a wealth of knowledge on the sport - the have even practised what they have learnt in the playground too. His behaviour management was fantastic and the children responded well to everything he taught. Each one of them made a progression each week. Overall it was loved by all children! We would love it if you could come back again next year!
Miss M Brook, Teacher, Berry Brow