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Preparing for a career transition out of Rugby League


Most players starting their Rugby League career know that they will need to plan for a second career after playing, even those who play into their mid-late thirties. The range of options and pathways to follow can be daunting but there is no doubt that taking action and control in preparing for life after full time rugby helps achieve a smoother, calmer and more successful transition into a future career.


The players in this video discuss the importance of career transition in rugby league and the need for players to start thinking about their future as soon as they become professional. They also talk about the fear of not being able to support their family and pay their mortgage once their playing career is over.


Finally they emphasise the need for players to take up opportunities and educate themselves, and mentions the importance of never losing the love for the game. The speaker also mentions that clubs and the RFL are doing more to help players with education and career transition.


Matt Cook


My project

Now 34 yrs of age, Matt has had a 16 season career, most of it played in Super League clubs as well as representing England internationally. Now playing part time with Widnes, Matt is in the final stages of completing a degree with the Open University.


Off the field, Matt has been keen to ensure players get the wellbeing support they need and to that end has been a volunteer player representative on the RFL Player Welfare and Education Forum and recently secured the role of Team Services Coordinator for the RL World Cup.


Matt will talk about how he has managed study alongside full time rugby and what motivated him to choose the Open University rather than attending one in his region.


Matty Blythe


My project (2)

Now 32 yrs of age, Matty returned to Warrington Wolves in his final year of playing full time and trained in Close Protection before taking a contract that took him to some of the most dangerous areas of Iraq.


On return to the UK he secured the position of Training Director with Vanquish Security through which he has continued his RL links in encouraging players to find out more about security related training.


You can learn more about Matty Blythe's transition here...


Danny Addy


My project (1)

From his early playing career to the present day, Danny has always had an interest in running his own business and had the ambition to do this before he finishes playing full time.


At the age of 30 and still playing full time rugby with Salford, he is now trained as a Barber and runs his own business alongside playing.


He has ambitions to help train other players who want to work as Barbers in the future.

No. 13 Barber Shop Facebook page...




BBC State of Sport Survey


Many former sportspeople report a loss of identity after retiring and struggle to move on in life.


The struggle to find a new purpose can lead to more serious problems such as depression, self-harm, addiction and financial problems.

Even the best-prepared athletes struggle - retirement can be like a grieving process.

A focus on success can hinder an athlete's prospects of planning for life after retirement.

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