Shaw Cross Sharks have launched a new incentive in order to raise mental health awareness.
The club will partner with State of Mind Rugby League, a charity set up in 2011 to raise awareness for mental health and wellbeing.
Club chairman Brett Turner wants Shaw Cross to partner with a chosen charity each year and feels that State of Mind is a perfect fit for 2018.
“The plan after this year is to get members to nominate a charity, that will then go to the executive committee who will narrow it down to a short list of four or five.
“We will then let the members vote on that but because we didn’t have the time to do that this year we thought State of Mind would be ideal.
“Firstly, they are rugby league people, they cover a lot more sports now but they are rugby league people and the stigma around mental health is disappearing.
“People are being encouraged to talk more and that can only be a good thing, so we are looking to raise awareness.”
Former Dewsbury Rams and Wakefield Trinity player Jimmy Gittens will work in close partnership with the club.
Gittens, who is a trustee and presenter for State of Mind, broke his neck in two places while playing for amateur side Sharlston Rovers.
However, the former Dewsbury player has not let that hold him back and he now goes all over the country to present for State of Mind.
“I have known Brett and Mick Turner for many years and we have helped with the BARLA British Bulldogs before,” said Gittens.
“I was told that Shaw Cross was looking to fundraise this year and dedicate it to State of Mind.
“We are obviously very thankful and we hope to create a good partnership together.
“I don’t really have any expectations but if they are going to be doing fundraising we would certainly like to help in any way we can.
“If that gets our message out there and helps to break the barrier down when it comes talking to mental health then that’s great.”
For more information about the work State of Mind carries out, visit their website here, http://www.stateofmindsport.org/