Following the recent Super League Europe Annual General Meeting, it was agreed that all clubs would provide a full-time Player Welfare Provision from the start of the 2018 season.
Under the current Player Welfare Policy, each Super League club employs a Player Welfare Manager for a minimum of three days a week to deliver the Policy in the club for the first team squad.
The new agreement will see the full-time Player Welfare Provision delivering the Policy but extending their remit to assist the Head of Youth with Academy and Scholarship players, and providing support for the performance and office staff focusing on mental health and wellbeing.
The Player Welfare Managers are tasked with delivering the Rugby Football League’s Player Welfare Policy, which provides support across a range of topics, including; promotion of good mental health, personal development, career advice, education and training opportunities; all in preparation for transition from the full-time game.
In addition, from 2018 Player Welfare Managers will be required to have, or be studying for, formal counselling qualifications so that their work complements the counselling and addiction service already provided by Sporting Chance.
On the switch to a full-time role, Rugby Football League Welfare Director, Emma Rosewarne, said: “This is a really positive move for the game and the Super League clubs should be praised for making the welfare of their players and staff a priority.
“The introduction of counselling qualifications will build on the training already received and help Player Welfare Managers to deliver preventative strategies and to recognise and respond more effectively to players and others who need help.
“Changing to full-time Player Welfare Provision adds to the great work many are doing off the field to ensure those involved in the sport – past, present and future – are well supported.