Rugby league charity makes new appointment

Rugby League Cares has strengthened its welfare and wellbeing team with the appointment of psychotherapist David Kirk.

David joins the charity with a wealth of experience in counselling and psychotherapy support provision to athletes, having spent much of the last decade working alongside sportsmen and women across a wide range of sports including rugby league, rugby union and football.

His appointment significantly enhances the services accessible by current and former rugby league players through RL Cares’s player welfare programme.

Welcoming Dave to the RL Cares team, the charity’s Director of Welfare and Wellbeing, Steve McCormack said: “David’s appointment reaffirms our commitment to offer world class levels of support to players, match officials and administrators within the sport.

“When we took the decision to provide in-house therapy, we set out to find the very best and David is just that. We are delighted that he has accepted our offer to join us.

“Having a professional psychotherapist with David’s experience and ability working full-time for RL Cares is a big step forward for the sport.”

Liverpool-based David has supported junior, first team and retired athletes in recent years in a consultative capacity with Sporting Chance. He has also spent the last five years providing psychotherapeutic support at St Helens, Super League’s most successful club.

He is a full member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and on the accredited register of counsellors and psychotherapists compiled by BACP. In the last 10 years David has specialised in the field of addiction and has expertise in transactional analysis, cognitive behaviour therapy, cognitive analytic therapy and transpersonal psychology.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to join RL Cares,” said David. “I’ve been a long-standing admirer of RL Cares’s philosophy and dedication to the people in its communities and the chance to join them on a full-time basis came at the right time for me.

“The charity already provides a fantastic level of support but much of that has been contracted out: taking it in-house will enable us to develop and shape the concept of therapeutic support so that the people we help get the best service possible.”

As well as supporting those experiencing crisis, David will provide wider access to counselling services designed to improve and enhance general wellbeing.

“Psychotherapy isn’t all about doom and gloom and being in crisis: that’s an important aspect of my role but so, too, is being here to listen to people who just want to open up,” said David.

“People find it pretty easy once they start talking about their experiences and sharing their successes. Feeling appreciated makes people want to appreciate others.

“When player release some emotional stuff they often find they have more energy and more focus, which can lead to better performances.”

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