This weekend will see theLondon Broncos play for The John Sullivan Trophy for the first time, in honour of former player, John Sullivan, who sadly took his own life in 2014.
The London Broncos, in conjunction with the LBSA, are dedicating the annual “State of Mind” weekend, to John, not only to honour his memory, but to highlight the importance of acknowledging mental health issues within the game of rugby league.
Working together with State of Mind, Academy sponsors, Andy’s Man Club and CALM, the club hope to bring to the fore the problems being dealt with by people throughout our game, as well as the mental health issues suffered by many millions of people in the UK alone.
John’s family gave us this message:
“It is a privilege to have John’s name associated with the game on Sunday and an honour to have the trophy named in his memory. John started with the Broncos at an early age progressing to the Academy level and meeting many good friends along the way. It was his passion and together with his team mates he experienced the highs and lows of professional rugby. We took great pride in following our son and seeing the progression of many London based youngsters in the professional game through the direction and support of the Broncos. Thank you Broncos for supporting this initiative and Sunday’s game will keep fond memories for us alive”.
State of Mind are a nationally recognised charity, created in 2011 by four healthcare professionals who are rugby league fans, following the tragic death of former Great Britain player, Terry Newton. Their aims are to use the power of sport to raise awareness, promote mental fitness, wellbeing and resilience, tackle stigma, signpost to and enable access to timely support in order to prevent suicide.
Over 6000 people in the UK die by suicide each year
Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under the age of 45
Incidents of suicide more often occur in localities where rugby league is played often within socio economic groups and deprived areas.
Depression, stress and anxiety are illnesses with various contributory causes, for example, personal problems breakdown of relationships, loss of job or work issues. The worst thing that people can do is bottle up their emotions to a level where it leads to suicidal thoughts
State of Mind sport encourages and enables people to “LET IT OUT” and talk to others to get a handle on their problems and their lives back on track.
Andy’s Man Club, who sponsor our academy side, are a talking group; a place for men to come together in a safe environment to talk about issues/problems they be have faced or currently been facing. The benefit is there are other men who have been in similar situations and can help you with advice on how they have dealt with the situation. Some of the organisation’s aims are to provide beneficial services, to look at bringing in solicitors who can give advice about fathers seeing their children, running debt management classes for those with gambling addictions or money troubles as well as the possibility of anger management classes and even activity sessions ranging from sports like rugby, football, basketball to walks and fitness classes.
CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, an award-winning charity dedicated to preventing male suicide.
Supported by the LBSA, CALM use young men as peers, their voices and interests to reach them. They seek to work with clubs, venues and brands with voices that men respect, feel comfortable with and trust to get their message across.They believe that there is a cultural barrier preventing men from seeking help as they are expected to be in control at all times, and failure to be seen as such equates to weakness and a loss of masculinity. CALM believe that if men felt able to ask for and find help when they need it then hundreds of male suicides could be prevented.
Following the game at 6pm the LBSA will be holding “An Evening With Stevo”. Mike Stevenson, formerly of Sky Sports Rugby League, with a collection being made for CALM, inspired by the Sullivan family’s support of the charity. An auction of Broncos items will also be made in support of all the charities mentioned above.