Mental Health & Wellbeing in Rugby League

Following the tragic suicide of former Wigan Warriors player, Terry Newton in September 2010 and a rise generally in suicide rates among the population, the sport of Rugby League in the UK has come together to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing across the game from grass roots communities up to Super League players.

The Rugby Football League (RFL) has backed the STATE OF MIND Campaign by agreeing to name Round 27 of Super League fixtures (Friday 9th – Sunday 11thSeptember 2011) the STATE OF MIND ROUND. This will be a weekend of Super League matches across the country dedicated to the issues surrounding mental health and wellbeing.

An active member of the STATE OF MIND Campaign Steering Group and supplier to the campaign, Owen Cotterell, has pledged to run approx 200 miles between Super League stadiums from Wrexham to Hull over the 10 days leading up to the STATE OF MIND Round – Friday 2nd – Sunday 11th September inclusively.

A keen marathon runner, Owen said; “for my own mental health and wellbeing, I regularly use running as a healthy escape from the day-to-day stresses of work and life – so when I decided I wanted to do something more to promote the STATE OF MIND Campaign, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate contribution than to run through all of our amazing rugby league communities across the north of the country.”

Averaging approx 20 miles per day, Owen will run a pre-planned route across the country from West to East taking in every 2011 Super League ground as well as visiting a number of amateur rugby league clubs along the way in a bid to raise awareness of the STATE OF MIND Campaign in the build-up to Round 27.

Owen’s route has been carefully planned to maximize PR opportunities and exposure in local and national press, including Sky Sports, by arriving at three Super League stadiums in time for kick-off and/or half time in games. Those stadiums and games are:

Day One – Friday 2nd September Wrexham Crusadors – St. Helens (Widnes, Stobart Stadium) 35 miles approx St. Helens v Salford City Reds (KO 20:00)

Day Three – Sunday 4th September Wigan Warriors – Warrington Wolves 10 miles approx Warrington Wolves v Wigan Warriors (KO 15:00)

Day Eight – Friday 9th September Leeds Rhinos – Wakefield Wildcats 13 miles approx Wakefield Wildcats v Bradford Bulls (KO 20:00)

Day Ten – Sunday 11th September Brough – Hull KR 19 miles approx Hull Kingston Rovers v Castleford Tigers (15:00)

You can sponsor Owen here:

And find out more about the work of State of Mind here: