The National Rugby League, based in Sydney, Australia has a strong desire to make the lives of their athletes better through their Wellbeing and Education initiative. Prime U had the opportunity to meet with Tony McFayden, Player Wellbeing & Education Manager in Sydney and spend time learning about their systems and structure in place while also sharing our key learnings from American Sport and what makes Prime U tick.
Takeaway's from our conversation included discussion on their goal to integrate education into their player's daily routines and for players to successfully transition out of the game, no matter how long or short their career. Each of their programs takes an individual approach and are designed for practical application. The focus is for the depth of programming to evolve as the player evolves and become more individualized as the player grows.
After a research study completed by Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland, the NRL found the correlation between in higher levels of engagement in career development programming and being selected for a team, the number of years contracted by a club, and the number of years playing overall. The bottom line being, those who took advantage of career development resources also had a better understanding of how the league worked and what exactly was needed to have a successful career as a Rugby League player.
Outside of working with players, the NRL also has a heavy focus on staff self-care and wellbeing. Preaching what they practice, the NRL’s staff understands that in order to love others, you must first love yourself. For a league that has faced tremendous adversity this offseason, the Player Wellbeing and Education staff are remaining true to their mission of empowering people.