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News : IRUPA to Launch Helpline for Players
Dublin, Ireland, June 30, 2015 -- A 24-hour support helpline for rugby players past and present will be launched tomorrow by Irish Rugby Union Players Association (IRUPA) who are concerned by the results of two recent studies.
Firstly, IRUPA canvassed their members last year to see how players in this country handle the emotional stresses and strains involved with professional sport, and the results were enough to make the players’ body take action.
The IRUPA survey, completed by 241 of its members, revealed that 67% of players involved in Irish rugby worry about their playing performance.
Three quarters of those respondents also admitted that they suffer from "excessive lack of sleep" because of their concerns about their on-field performance. In addition, 40% said that this has had a "negative effect" on their relationships outside of rugby.
However, while those playing the game have access to resources, another study conducted by the University of Cape Town revealed worrying behaviour from retired players.
The results read like a bad cocktail for mental health with distress, depression, sleep disturbance, alcohol abuse, smoking and anxiety all listed by Dr Vincent Gouttebarge, who conducted a study among former players from Ireland, South Africa and France.
Amongst the Irish players involved unhealthy nutritional behaviour ranked highest among their symptoms (60%) while 25 % or more admitted to adverse alcohol behaviour and suffering from anxiety and sleep disturbance.
Alongside EAP Consultants, IRUPA will launch the helpline tomorrow which will be available from academy level right up to senior and retired players as well as their families.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Irish Rugby Union Players Association:
The Irish Rugby Union Players Association (IRUPA) is the representative body for professional rugby players in Ireland.
Published: Wednesday, July 1, 2015