Referees have a unique chance to improve their mental fitness and develop the practical skills they need to stay mentally fit.

Rugby League Cares, in partnership with the mental health charity MIND, is offering local referees societies an opportunity to book their members on to special one-hour long workshop led by former professional players.

Designed in partnership with Sporting Chance and Movember, the workshop is designed to give people practical skills and the tools they need to cope with challenging times, adapt and recover if they face adversity, and build their mental fitness so they are in the best possible place to remain fit, happy and well.

The former professionals bravely open up about the adversities they faced regarding their own mental fitness, on and off the field. The workshop has been proven to empower participants and increase their knowledge of mental fitness.

State of Mind are massive advocates for the great skills that match officials bring to every game at all levels and welcome this move to support all officials.

In addition, Rugby League Cares also has funding to provide one-to-one counselling to referees who have found the impact of the COVID pandemic particularly challenging. Referees will be able to access up to six sessions from a trained psychologist or counsellor.

To book your society in for a mental fitness and resilience workshop, please email stating the name of your society and an estimated number of attendees.

If anyone feels that they would benefit from 121 counselling, they can email directly to book an introductory call.

Steve Ganson, Head of Match Officials, says: “The last five months have been a challenging period for everyone. They have been difficult and hugely uncertain times. This includes our Match Officials, who play a vital role in our game. This period has once again highlighted that it is crucial that we support all our Match Officials across the game with their mental fitness, on and off the field.

“The new ‘Every Official A Better Official’ strategy identifies supporting our officials as a strategic priority going forward. Therefore, the access to mental fitness and resilience workshops, as well as counselling sessions now available for all officials is a big step forward.

“I would like to thank our friends and colleagues at Rugby League Cares for their support.”