Rugby Minds

Rugby Minds aims to spark conversations around difficult topics that students may face during their university experience, through campaign work, social media and creating resources for athletes.

Rugby Minds

What is our award-winning programme?

Rugby Minds is an initiative developed to improve the welfare and culture, and change the perceptions of university rugby at the University of Nottingham.

Acknowledging the discrimination and disadvantages students may experience in sport, the campaign is committed to raise awareness so that everyone can work together to create a more inclusive culture across the rugby programmes.

In 2021, the Rugby Minds programme won the England Rugby Universities EDI Award. Through the hard work of former Ambassador, Rei Crookes, the award is a testament the dedication and achievements of the the programme, which promotes positive sporting cultures at the University of Nottingham.

What are the goals of the campaign?

The Rugby Minds campaigns focuses on 4 key goal areas

  • Mental Health: Accessibility of mental health, mental health surrounding sports injury, access to other community outreach programmes when injured. More player feedback with training, workloads etc.
  • Inclusion: Creating university wide campaigns that focus on LGBTQ+, Anti-Racism and Disabilities
  • Women's Sport: Working towards having Men’s and Women’s sport on the same platforms, working to create better relations between Men’s and Women’s teams, supporting women in matters which don’t directly relate to rugby, but affect all women
  • Community Outreach: At the University, there are around 500 students playing rugby. We want to encourage players to be more involved in community rugby. Schools, local rugby clubs etc. Look towards sending groups of players to the wider community.
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A Conversation About The LGBTQ+ Community

Students Zelah and Abe of the Women’s and Men’s Rugby clubs, respectively, had a very important and meaningful conversation about Zelah’s experiences as part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Even though Rugby remains one of the more inclusive sports we know of, there is always more that can be done to bring people together. Unfortunately, data from Stonewall indicates that the coronavirus pandemic has hit LGBTQ+ people disproportionately, especially those experiencing multiple marginalisation including disabled LGBTQ+ people, and Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) LGBTQ+ people, and/or LGBTQ+ people of colour (PoC).

A Conversation About Injury & Mental Health

From the top down, the game of rugby is looking for new initiatives to help spark conversations around mental health and encourage people to speak up about any difficulties they’re experiencing.

Students from the University of Nottingham Women’s and Men’s Rugby clubs came together to have an honest and meaningful conversation about how injury has impacted their mental health.

"It is estimated that approximately one in four people will experience some form of mental health condition each year in the UK alone. For these individuals, the stresses and strains of everyday life can often be overwhelming and act as a catalyst that can trigger mental health problems, with the most common being depression and anxiety." Loose Headz