Providing wellbeing support for our rugby league family

October Monthly Wellbeing Activities

Someone without a shoulder to lean on

A young fellow who spends his weekdays fitting accessories to four-wheel-drive vehicles, and weekends running around for his local rugby league team, has hit the wall. Just over a year ago he was taking the ball up when he encountered a body-jarring tackle. Resulting in an injury that required surgery.

Placed on the hospital’s waiting list, as a public healthcare patient it was over a year until he could be operated on. In that time, his sick leave has expired and he hasn’t been able to work or bring in an income.

Although he spent his youth chasing the pill up and down the paddock, nothing prepared him for the physical (as well as psychological) impact this injury would enact. While he has a partner doing the best she can to support him and their household, there single income is not coping with their unbalanced income. With the mountain of bills getting higher and higher, he has reached out to us for support. A helping hand to give him a breather until he is cleared to return to the workplace.

Trying to see a future

A gentleman in his late 40s is also facing an uncertain future, after an extensive 20-year history playing in Australia as well as New Zealand across many grades and clubs. Previously employed as a meatworker, he incurred a grisly injury at his worksite which rendered him unemployed.

Compounding this life-changing event, he also suffers from diabetes which has impacted his ability to see and hear. Although his injury entitles him to receive Workcover, these funds do not cover essentials such as a hearing aid and visual support.

With the aim of getting ‘out of the rut’, he is retraining himself to re-enter the workforce by studying a diploma in youth work.

In the meantime, Family of League are assisting him with his optical and audible equipment needs, and hopefully bridge the gap to employment.

Torn between two towns

A young man from Mid Nth Coast NSW was living the life. He excelled as a local junior and was invited to play with two Sydney teams. Full of excitement about moving to ‘the big smoke’, he relocated from his rural town to a Sydney suburb, and settled into his new life with expectations to go somewhere in our game.

In August this year, while involved in a multi-player tackle, another player landed on his elbow which impacted his shoulder.

Two months later he underwent shoulder surgery, then physiotherapy to assist with optimising the strength and mobility of his arm. While his club’s insurance covers his medical bills, he is now unemployed and has no way to provide for the cost of living.

Unfortunately, while he is surely tempted to return home and mitigate these rising bills, he must stay in Sydney… where he can access the best medical support. Family of League wellbeing officers are providing a solution for him.

A battler from the North

A North Queenslander, slightly shy of age 80, who has spent decades either playing, coaching or working hard in admin for our sport, now faces one of his biggest battles of all: cancer.

He has been continuously fighting this for 4 years, unfortunately he has had to make the tough decision to have his left leg amputated.

He and his wife have retired and are supported by their pension payments, however this does not cover equipment costs associated with this radical change in lifestyle. As is quite common with those of this generation, there is also no super to fall back on.

To provide mobility, Family of League are looking at accessing a wheelchair and other areas of support for this man, as a way of thanking him for his many years of involvement in our great game.

So, while things are quite on our sporting fields, we are still quite busy assisting those in our rugby league family needing a hand, with the above only a small glimpse of the many we have supported this month.