Under the banner of newly founded organisation ‘Rugby Unite’ and in partnership with the Mental Awareness Foundation, Darren Gaffney recently coordinated the second Rick Tyrrell Cup Rugby match. This included a pre match function to raise funds for Mental Health First Aid training for the Brisbane rugby community.
“As a result of this event, Rugby Unite held their first MHFA course and trained 12 people from five different clubs from the rugby community. The course was well received and I believe we will have a positive impact within the rugby community” said organiser, Darren. “It is the Rugby off season now and we plan on running our second course prior to the 2017 season commencing”.
Rugby Unite held a second fundraising event during September in association with the Queensland Rugby Referees Association, and were lucky to have secured Nigel Owens as guest speaker who refereed the Australia v South Africa game. Nigel officiated at last year’s Rugby World Cup final and is the world’s No1 referee in addition to being a passionate mental health advocate. Nigel very candidly shared his own story on his personal struggles with mental health, sexuality and attempted suicide and how he overcame the odds to become the world’s number 1 referee in an inspiring and informative manner.
“We have a lot planned for next year and are extremely excited to have discovered MHFA and feel as though we are contributing real life skills back into the Rugby community that we love so much” said Darren. Darren's goal is to have an MHFA trained club member in every rugby club before the 2017 season kicks off.