GOOD VIBES: Tweed Coast Raider Dan Willoughby, pictured with the ball, will participate in the inaugural State of Mind Rugby League 9s tournament.
GOOD VIBES: Tweed Coast Raider Dan Willoughby, pictured with the ball, will participate in the inaugural State of Mind Rugby League 9s tournament. Mike Donnelly

It's mind over matter as league tackles mental health

PLAYERS will put their bodies on the line in the aim of raising mental health awareness at the inaugural State of Mind Rugby League 9s tournament to be played at Tweed Coast Raiders on March 3.

Eight senior men's teams, including Raiders, Bilambil, Currumbin, Grafton and Cabbage Tree Island, as well as four women's teams have already signed up for the exciting Nines format, which will provide an ideal run-in ahead of the start of the season a month later.

Raiders club president Josh Sattler said the event was a first for the club and was aligned to the NRL's State of Mind mental health awareness program.

"We hope it will help to break down the stigma of mental health illness,” Sattler said.

"The impact that any community club, and especially a rugby league club, feels from mental health impacts the whole community, not just one family.

"Cabarita itself has in the last 10 years been hit by it quite dramatically.

"It is one of those things that nobody wants to talk about but we want to wear it on our chests and be proud to talk about it.

"From 16s all the way through to men's, we really want to engage with our players and our families to make sure we can talk about it. If there is an issue we are there to support each other, they don't have to close up about it.”

Sattler said the club had linked in with Tweed Heads-based service provider Head Space, which will be the beneficiary of any money raised on the day.

Entry is free and children's entertainment will be provided, as well as food stalls.

"We really want it to be embraced by the community as a community event,” Sattler said, explaining the exciting Nines format - similar to the idea behind union's Sevens format.

Meanwhile, Sattler said Raiders' seniors were training well under the direction of new head coach and former NRL star Brent Kite.

"Brent is fitting in so well. It is like he has been part of the woodwork for the last five years, he has fitted in so well,” he said.

A new high performance centre for club members will get under way soon.



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