Offload 'a big step forward for men'

Offload 'a big step forward for men'

27th October 2017

Widnes Vikings’ Offload programme continues to grow from strength to strength, and has been praised by one participant this week as “a big step forward for men.”

Offload is a free weekly programme that uses the power of Rugby league to help men build their mental fitness. Participants have the opportunity to learn from members of the Rugby League community, including former players, coaches and referees, on how to manage stress and stay mentally resilient. 

Andy McLain, a regular attendee of Offload, has praised its impact in engaging men and breaking stigma.

“Men, being men, don’t like to talk about their problems and keep things bottled up”, he explains. 

“But you come to programmes like this, you are able to talk to other people who have suffered mental health challenges. It’s great to have heard from rugby players, who pass their experience on to help others deal with stressful situations in everyday life.”

At Offload, guest speakers from the world of Rugby League openly tell their story to connect with participants. For Andy, this has been powerful.

“You get to meet some of the past and present stars of rugby league, and to understand that they also experience the stresses of everyday life too.

“Danny Sculthorpe’s was a really good and informative session. He speaks from the heart. It was inspirational to hear how he overcame the challenges he experienced through having to retire early through injuries.”

Offload is free, inclusive and open to all. As someone who has benefitted from it, Andy hopes that others will join in.

“I would recommend it to anybody,” he said. 

“Even if you think you’re okay, and just want to come down and listen to the stories, it will make you feel better and give you a boost. 

“There are lots of people here and a good mix characters. You find as the weeks go on, you get to know everyone and have a bit of banter. It’s something I look forward to every week.” 

Offload is delivered in partnership with the independent charity Rugby League Cares. 

Offload 'a big step forward for men'