Offload is launched!

Offload is launched!

10th April 2017

Chris Houston has given his full support to Offload, the exciting new project that will see Vikings players past and present work with men from across the Widnes area to foster good mental health.

Offload is being delivered in partnership with the independent charity Rugby League Cares. Chris is looking forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with all the men who sign up for the 10-week sessions.

 “I'm delighted to be Widnes Vikings' Offload ambassador,” said Chris.  “All of us will experience stress or worries at some time in our lives - this course will offer great advice on how to promote mental fitness in these moments.

“It promises to be fun and interesting, and will make a big difference.I hope that lots of our supporters get involved in this great project."

Offload will provide a support network for men to improve their mental health and make professional help and assistance more accessible than ever before.

As part of the project, health professionals and current and former professional players will engage with supporters and the wider public to learn the skills and techniques to build a strong mindset.

Playing personnel will be actively involved in the project, sharing their experiences of coping with stress and pressure, and working with participants to develop their own good mental health.

Men who enrol on the 10-week programme will build their own mental fitness in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Participants, who must be at last 16 years of age, will develop coping strategies that empower them to tackle challenging situations and recognise when people close to them may need their support. 

Emma Goldsmith, the Health Programme Manager for Rugby League Cares, said: “Rugby League has begun to tackle the issue of men’s mental health through initiatives such as Andy’s Man Club, State of Mind and Mantality, and Offload will build on the excellent work that is already taking place.

“The club foundations are well-placed to deliver key messages to their communities about mental health and provide support networks to men of all ages and backgrounds.

“The stigma of poor mental health is being lifted and Offload will aim to get across the message that no-one need ever suffer alone: there are lots of ways in which people can offload their concerns to trained and qualified support workers.

“We would love as many men as possible to engage with the project and begin enjoying improved mental and physical health.”

Offload sessions in Widnes take place every Tuesday evening 6.30pm til 8.00pm at Halton Stadium. For more information call 0151 495 2250 (option 4) or email

Offload is launched!