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Will Carpenter


Posted Sunday, March 18th 2018

Players tackle mental-wellbeing in local primary school

Bristol Rugby teamed up with Bristol Sport Foundation (BSF) to discuss the role of physical activity in dealing with exam stress at a North Somerset primary school.

Chris Vui, Mat Protheroe and Jordon Liney joined coaches from the charity’s Forever Sport primary school PE and coaching programme at Cameley Primary School in North Somerset, on Wednesday, 14th March, where they met Year 6 pupils preparing for their SATs.

The Bristol Rugby trio put the pupils through their paces in a TAG rugby-themed training session, whilst discussing the importance of warming up before exercise and the role that regular activity has in dealing with stress and anxiety.

After the practical session, the players hosted a Q&A session, sharing tips on how they deal with the stresses of being professional athletes and how they prepare for a big match - discussing everything from relaxation techniques, to their pre-match rituals and the family culture that has been created at the club.

The visit was arranged by class teacher, Matt Henson, as part of a year-long project that looks at improving the emotional and mental well-being of boys in the school and BSF community development officer, Rob Webber, was delighted to receive Matt’s email.

“Mental well-being is a hot topic at the moment and sport has a special role to play in ensuring that people maintain a balanced mental state,” said Rob.

“So, when I received Matt’s email asking for help, it was something that we wanted to support as much as we could.

“Having the players along to help out with the coaching session and openly discuss the way they deal with stress really added something quite special to the day and showed the children that no matter how big, strong or athletic you are, it is ok to talk to other people when you are feeling under pressure.”

“The kids had an amazing time and haven’t stopped talking about it,” added class teacher, Matt Henson.

“The visit was not only engaging and massive amounts of fun, but it also allowed us to normalise conversations about mental well-being with a young audience.

“Through sport and with the help of Bristol Rugby, we have been able to lay crucial foundations to a positive attitude and a healthy mind set.”