The Welsh Rugby Players’ Association (WRPA) and the Tom Maynard Trust have entered into a new two-year partnership. The funding provided by the Tom Maynard Trust will support two additional years of the Resilience for Rugby programme, which was launched in 2020; 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, 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 will ensure Mental Health First Aid training is delivered across all professional and academy players in Wales. It will also allow WRPA staff and players to suitably qualify 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 our 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 have 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 has 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 Tom Maynard Trust
The Tom Maynard Trust was set up in the summer of 2012 following Tom’s tragic death. Its initial objects were to try to provide low level financial support for young cricketers making their way in the game. Over the period in which the Trust has been operating, though, this has expanded, and our work has been focused on the following areas:
TMT support applications from young aspiring sports people looking for support with different aspects of their career development, including bursaries, help with training and some aspects of their education, financial support for overseas placements and assistance with kit and equipment.
.Education and Awareness
TMT work with other agencies, including the Professional Cricketers’ Association in England and Wales, the Rugby Players’ Association in England, Rugby Players Ireland and the Welsh Rugby Players’ Association, the Professional Footballers’ Association in England, the Ladies European Tour golf, the Netball Players’ Association and the Jockeys’ Education & Training Scheme to provide support for raising awareness of some of the pitfalls of a career in sport, helping with education, induction and careers programmes for young professionals making their way in sport.