The Welsh Rugby Players’ Association (WRPA) and the Tom Maynard Trust have entered into a new two-year partnership, with the funding provided by the Trust supporting two additional years of the Resilience for Rugby programme, which was launched in 2020. The WRPA confirmed that this would not have been possible without the support of the Trust.
The Resilience for Rugby programme is headed up by Ospreys’ stalwart Lloyd Ashley, who is the WRPA’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead. The WRPA funded Lloyd through the Instructor Certificate in First Aid for Mental Health, the FAA Level 3 Award in Supervising First Aid for Mental Health (RQF) and the Award in Leading First Aid for Mental Health at SCQF Level 6.
This funding from the Tom Maynard Trust ensures that Mental Health First Aid training is delivered across all professional and academy players in Wales. It will also allow WRPA staff and players to obtain the appropriate qualifications as Mental Health First Aiders. These ambassadors work hard to champion awareness and tackle the stigma surrounding mental health. This has never been more important as Welsh rugby players are not only dealing with the mental stresses the professional game brings, but also the additional issues and impacts of Covid-19.
On this new partnership Lloyd Ashley commented:
“It is great that the Tom Maynard Trust understand the importance of raising awareness, breaking the stigma and improving education around mental health. The Resilience for Rugby programme is an essential aspect of this, and I am delighted we can continue to deliver this right across the Welsh rugby landscape.”
The WRPA’s Chief Executive, Barry Cawte, gave his view on the partnership:
“Our members have a lot of stresses to deal with as professional athletes: dealing with injuries; being in the media eye; the hardship of non-selection; and preparing for life after the game. If you add in the additional issues we have seen in the last year, such as Covid-19 and racism being faced by our members, it is essential we are able to provide mechanisms in which we can appropriately support. We are delighted the Tom Maynard Trust has given us the support we needed to make sure we can action and deliver the help that is needed. We are very grateful.”
Mike Fatkin from the Tom Maynard Trust said:
“We are delighted to support the WRPA in such an important issue. Player welfare is a very important item for us, particularly for younger players making their way in the game, and as such we are very excited about the positive outcomes that this partnership with the WRPA will bring. We admire the work that Lloyd does and being able to continue that is essential.”
About The WRPA
A not-for-profit professional association, the Welsh Rugby Players Association (WRPA) represents, develops, promotes and protects professional rugby players in Wales. The WRPA is a member of the International Rugby Players, the international association responsible for representing all professional players around the world.