Chester Gladiators hosted the award-winning State of Mind mental health programme this week.

Gladiators players, coaches and volunteers took part in a workshop at The Cheshire County Sports Club in Upton.

Former Wakefield Wildcats player Jimmy Gittins spoke to the Gladiators about the serious neck injury he sustained while playing rugby league that paralysed him from the neck down 10 years ago.State of Mind 384

Gittins was told he would never walk again but defied that prognosis and has since raises thousands of pounds for charity by completing inspiring challenges including a parachute jump and dragon boating along the River Thames.

Mental health nurse Phil Cooper and former Warrington Wolves junior Will Stringer also spoke about the importance of mental fitness.State of Mind 381

Gladiators chairman Jim Green said: “The session was extremely interesting and it’s reassuring to know that people have somewhere to turn if they need help or support.

“State of Mind is an excellent initiative and one we fully support. It is important people know that someone is out there who is willing to talk and help them deal with whatever they are feeling.

“As a club we do our best to help our players enjoy rugby league because playing sport and keeping fit and active is just one to feel good about yourself.”

Gladiators were presented with a set of State of Mind water bottles to use during the 2013 season at the end of the workshop.

State of Mind was established in 2011 after former Great Britain star Terry Newton tragically took his own life.

The programme aims to improve the mental health, wellbeing and working life of rugby league players and communities.