Catalans forward and New Zealand international Sam Moa has hailed the work of State of Mind – and says that players have more to deal with than people think.
The 30-year-old raised the issue of injuries, often one of the first things that players talk about when they are discussing mental fitness and the impact on them. This weekend is State of Mind round in Super League and looks at the theme of loss – be it a relationship, a job, income, a home or a bereavement, and how people can deal with it.
Moa, now playing in France for the Dragons, said: “State of Mind is a great initiative. We have a similar sort of thing back in Australia that helps out players and encourages players to speak out when they need help. I think it’s extremely important for our sport and for the participants of our sport to express their feelings.
“I know it’s difficult for us players to uphold a front, a tough front when there are a lot of things going on that remain unseen. It’s tremendous and I hope they can be incorporated more into our schedule.
“Injuries are probably the biggest thing. Timing is funny. When you are really down you get kicked and usually the bad injuries are when you are looking for a new contract. A lot of things are at stake.
“For a young player it can be thinking whether they are good enough for the sport and for a player at the back end of his career it then turns into how they will support their family – and it’s a big transition from playing to out in the workforce and there are a lot of extremely high pressure situations you suffer as a player.
“It’s definitely getting better and the awareness is there and that’s what it’s about. It’s about using the platform we have in rugby league to promote these important initiatives and that’s what we are going to do this week.”
This year’s themed round takes place on the weekend of Round 18, June 8th to 11th, and the following games: Leigh v Wigan (Thu), St Helens v Widnes (Fri), Salford v Hull (Fri), Wakefield v Leeds (Sat), Catalans v Huddersfield (Sat), Castleford v Warrington (Sun).