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After their rugby league careers, players branch off into different paths and many face the same challenge of transitioning from being a NRL player to normality when settling back into everyday life.

To help current players face their life after football, former Vodafone Warrior Joe Galuvao and his wife Maybelle hosted the ‘NRL Play On!’ workshop for the Vodafone Warriors at Mount Smart Stadium.

‘NRL Play On!’ forms part of the NRL Transition Programme services. It was created in response to feedback received from players who have experienced challenges with the transition in the past five years. The workshop offers help for those who are undergoing this change and providing ways for them to manage it.                                                                                                                  

‘NRL Play On!’ aims to reduce stress or anxiety around certain challenges by:

  • Hearing advice and stories of transition from NRL players and partners who have been through it
  • Understanding what is normal to feel and what to expect during the transition
  • Planning around how to maximise opportunities the game provides, both to make the most of the present and to set you up well for the future
  • Adopting a positive approach to exploring possibilities for transition, and an holistic vision for an exciting future

Run by the NRL Transition Programme team in partnership with the NRL’s Club Wellbeing and Career Programmes staff, former NRL players and their partners speak on a panel sharing their stories and advice from their own transitional experiences.

‘NRL Play On!’ is targeted at NRL players who are aged 28-plus as well as their partners. It is also suitable for players who are not currently in a relationship and may prefer a more one-on-one approach. They are welcome to participate in the workshop with a close family member or a friend; it is recommended that the person they bring will be there throughout this tough period of the player’s life.


State of Mind Workshop

The NRL State of Mind campaign prioritises the wellbeing of players and has become a core value at the Vodafone Warriors.

The purpose behind State of Mind is to encourage club members from players, managers, staff and supporters to take ownership of their own mental health by broadening their help-seeking behaviour.

Galuvao, a NRL State of Mind ambassador, held the workshop with the Vodafone Warriors alongside NRL transition coach Judy Fitzgerald.

Discussing mental health issues or problems faced by people is vital and the workshop is aiming to help those identify what is going on and how to deal with it as well as referring those with a mental health need to experts.

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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