Offload is a Big Lottery funded initiative, offering fun, fresh and effective mental fitness support for men in deprived areas.

Run by Rugby League Cares, alongside four partner club foundations; Salford Red Devils Foundation, Warrington Wolves Foundation, Widnes Vikings, and St Helens community foundation, and has been independently evaluated by Edge Hill University.

Offload is giving local men the opportunity to go behind the scenes of the great game of Rugby League, and learn the mental fitness techniques of professional players and be supported to develop their own winning mindset.

What we are doing
Together, 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. We have changed the language we use; never referring to mental illness or health, but to building mental fitness and helping men to make ground and take control. We use male friendly spaces, chosen by local men, including delivering mental fitness sessions from stadium changing rooms. Our players are standing behind the programme, getting involved and supporting its delivery; becoming role models for positive wellbeing. Our sessions are interactive, hands-on and most importantly, we have used future participants in the design and development of everything we do. 

The Offload programme
Offload, is a 10-fixture programme, designed to prevent mental health problems, support men to look after their own mindsets and recognise when they or others require further support.

Each of the 10 fixtures hands power back to men, giving them, evidence based tools and techniques to practice and embed within their daily lives. Fixtures topics include; five ways to wellbeing, mindfulness, stress management, emotional resilience, problem solving, goal setting, challenging negative thinking, resilience, anger management, work life balance and others.

What we want to achieve?
Through this programme, we wish to; help men develop better coping strategies, have a better understanding of their own wellbeing needs, recognise when they or others are in or heading towards crisis, manage crisis, improve their connections and support networks and feel less lonely and isolated. We are proud that Offload has been independently evaluated by Edge Hill University to assess how the above are achieved.

Rugby Football League, 49 Red Hall Lane, Leeds, LS17 8NB