Independent UK gambling harm-prevention consultancy EPIC Risk Management announced today a new initiative in the responsible gambling space in partnership with the Rugby Players Association (RPA), Rugby Football Union (RFU), and Premiership Rugby (PRL).
Multi-Year In-Depth Education
The new four-year partnership agreed between EPIC Risk Management and the RPA, RFU, and PRL is expected to deliver a Gambling Awareness Education program and build upon the ground-breaking program rolled out in 2017 by the RPA, the first of its kind gambling awareness education available to professional sports athletes at that time.
“In 2017, EPIC helped us to deliver the first gambling awareness education program for elite athletes in the UK,” commented player welfare director at RPA Richard Bryan, outlining the current partnership as the next step in the process that will allow for “a multi-year, in-depth program for more players.”
“Research suggests that professional athletes are more likely to be problem gamblers than those in the general population and the effects can be devastating. As such, it is crucial for us to ensure that players understand the risks associated with problem gambling, as well as the support available to them.”Richard Bryan, Director, Player Welfare, RPA
The four-year program will encompass all rugby competitions in the UK to deliver education to players on the risks related to developing problematic gambling behaviors, including anti-corruption education. EPIC, a sought-after leader in gambling awareness, will leverage its first-hand experience on the matter.
“We are thrilled to continue our work with the Rugby Players Association. Furthermore, we’re delighted to extend this work in rugby with the RFU and Premiership Rugby – it’s great to see such a joined-up approach across the sport for such a pertinent and growing issue.”John Millington, Director, Sports Partnerships, EPIC Risk Management
The Gambling Awareness Program will educate Premiership and Championship clubs, Red Roses, England Sevens men and women squads in the first and third year, while years two and four will be for the player population aged 16-18 at Regional Academy, as well as all Women’s Premier 15s clubs and 16-18-year-old player Women’s Premier populations.
Welfare of Players Is Key
Focusing on the Professional Game Education Strategy and the welfare of sports athletes, chair of the PGB Personal Development Sub-Committee and RFU head of legal and regulation Alys Lewis outlined the importance of the gambling awareness education delivered by EPIC that is “central” to the strategy delivery.
“We look forward to working with EPIC, along with the RPA, PRL, the Championship Clubs, and the Allianz Premiership Clubs to deliver this essential education to the players and staff structure which supports them,” concluded Lewis.
Head of player development at Premiership Rugby Neil McCarthy also stressed the welfare of players as a “key priority” for the organization, “delighted to announce the renewal of this partnership with EPIC,” a consultancy that has established as a market leader in this space, seeking to “take the problem out of gambling and to save lives,” something the PRL fully endorses.
“EPIC work with some of the world’s biggest organizations, spanning a large number of sectors, to help mitigate against the risks and potentially devastating effects of problem gambling and we know they will be great partners for our players,” added McCarthy.