Super League stars plan for the future

Players from across the First Utility Super League have praised an initiative put on by the RFL aimed at educating players who are approaching retirement.

RFL Welfare Director Emma Rosewarne hosted the event earlier this week, which saw players from the elite competition attend a seminar that was specifically aimed at those approaching the end of their playing careers.

“The idea of the day was to make sure the players were aware of the RFL emotional, educational and careers services that remain available to them,” said Rosewarne. “And from the feedback that we received from the players, it was a great success.

“A key part of the day were the sessions led by Sporting Chance, who spoke to the players about the emotional adjustment of retirement.

“This was supplemented by other talks and presentations by key personnel and organisations including Danny Sculthorpe, Ewan Dowes, Rugby League Cares, Rugby League Learning and Yorkshire Bank, for financial advice.

“It was also an opportunity for RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood to talk directly to the players – he thanked them all for their huge contribution to Rugby League both on and off the field in their careers.”

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats prop Andy Raleigh, who has confirmed that he will retire at the end of the 2014 season, believes that players are now better-informed of their options when it comes to retirement.

“Everybody definitely benefited from it and it is definitely worth going and spending an afternoon finding out what’s available,” said Raleigh. “It is nice to know that there is help available for players when they retire.

“A lot of people come into the game at 17 years old – I was lucky in that I didn’t become full-time until I was 23 or 24, so I got to experience university and work – but for a lot players Rugby League has been everything.

“I have done a lot already about career transition and I recommended it to the rest of the boys because any advice is really helpful.”

Widnes Vikings player Jon Clarke said: “I’ve got a job already sorted at Widnes, so on the surface I might seem well set, but this was exactly something that I needed to go to.

“There are so many different things that we were not aware of and which now I am more confident with. The RFL have been innovative over the last few years – every year players struggle through retirement and it is really, really important that players understand what’s available to them.

“The more we as players and the RFL can publicise this, the better.”