RPA Members Complete Groundbreaking Gambling Education Programme

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 08:  Brumbies win a line out during the Super Rugby trial match between the Brumbies and the ACT XV at Viking Park on February 8, 2014 in Canberra, Australia.  (Photo by Stefan Postles/Getty Images)

The RPA can announce the completion of a groundbreaking Gambling Awareness Education programme, delivered to RPA members across the country. The first of its kind, the programme was delivered by EPIC Risk Management who used first-hand experience to educate players about problematic gambling and the potential risks it poses, while illustrating when and how to get help. The RPA’s Personal Development Managers also received training to enable them to help those with potential gambling issues.

The programme was delivered to the players from all 12 Premiership Clubs, Bristol Rugby, the England Women’s national team and England 7s. In addition, EPIC presented at two annual RPA Academy Induction Days at Lilleshall and the prestigious Rugby School to ensure that young talented athletes are making informed decisions as they enter the sport.

Outside the world of sport, EPIC’s work has seen them delivering awareness sessions and risk management work to a variety of industries, from the military and the prison service to the financial sector. Their annual report was released earlier today and can be viewed here.

This initiative was an important tenet of the RPA’s mental wellbeing campaign, #LiftTheWeight. More information and support relating to addiction can be found on the RPA website here.

RPA Rugby Director, Richard Bryan, said: “Research from the Professional Players’ Federation suggests that professional athletes are three times more likely to be problem gamblers than those in the general population. As part of our wider welfare support offering, it was crucial for us to proactively address this area of risk to ensure that our members understood the dangers associated with problem gambling, as well as the help available to them.”

Paul Buck, EPIC Risk Management, Chief Executive, said: “Professional sportspeople don’t like to lose. When this is combined with high levels of pressure, adrenaline, spare time and potentially high earnings there is a greater risk of experiencing gambling-related harm. We are delighted to have worked with the RPA and over 600 players in what we believe is the largest and most penetrative Gambling Education programme ever completed in world sport and look forward to working with them to stay at the forefront of pro-active player welfare in this area in the future.”