SPORTING CHANCE Founder and Chair of Trustees Tony Adams says he is “looking forward with pride” to assuming the role of President of the Rugby Football League next summer.
The RFL's appointment of Tony comes as a result of a long-term bond between the governing body and Sporting Chance. The RFL are a key stakeholder in the charity, which delivers player welfare to clubs through education, as well as through access to one-to-one counselling and residential care where needed to address mental health and addiction issues.
"It will be an honour to become the next President of the RFL and I am looking forward with pride to taking up the role next summer," said Tony, who this year attended the Grand Final at Old Trafford, which saw Wigan beat Warrington 12-4 in a thrilling match.
"I am passionate about working with everyone in the sport to raise the profile of mental health, wellness and resilience, for players and for everyone in Rugby League,” added Tony, who will succeed Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Manchester. “I'd also like to play my part in championing this brilliant sport on the national stage."
Sporting Chance has helped more than 400 Rugby League players since linking up with the RFL in 2011, and Tony himself delivered educational talks at Wigan and Hull in 2018.
The RFL chairman Brian Barwick said: "Tony Adams is known and respected throughout sport and beyond, not only for his outstanding playing career with Arsenal, but more recently for his pioneering work with Sporting Chance.
"The game has recognised the importance of mental health, for players and everyone else involved, and Tony's election is another significant step in that regard."
Added Sporting Chance Chief Executive Colin Bland: “We have close relationships with all our stakeholders and this furthers our excellent bond with Rugby League.
“We are proud that the RFL has appointed Tony and see it as both a fruition of our work with them and a recognition that there is more we can do together.”
Sporting Chance would like to thank Emma Rosewarne the Head of Welfare at the Rugby League for her vision and hard work in promoting player welfare and her confidence in the charity to be part of that vision.
We also thank Tony Smith, the former Huddersfield, Leeds, Warrington and Great Britain coach, who is a much-valued and respected Patron of our charity.