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Norfolks Big Rugby Weekend helps spread the mental health message

​Thousands of people were given the chance to find out more about safeguarding both their mental and physical health at a special sporting celebration which took place this weekend (6 and 7 May).

Teams from across the county descended on Holt RFC to battle it out in all of the season’s major finals during the Norfolk Big Rugby Weekend. As well as physical health, the event also focused on mental wellbeing, and gave the players and their supporters the chance to find out more about the services and support which are available locally, and the steps they can take to look after themselves.

The weekend featured a closely-fought game of touch rugby between Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) and Norwich Mind, which was arranged to raise awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing. The Mind team – which included former NCFC player Cedric Anselin, who has recently spoken out about his battle with depression – edged the victory, with the game finishing 5 – 3.

NSFT Service User Governor Dr Richard Gorrod, who helped to organise the event, said: “We were delighted with how well the weekend went. Thousands of people turned out to support the teams while also finding out more about the importance of good mental health.

“We would like to thank Norfolk RFU, all the rugby teams and officials and most of all the NBRW Holt subcommittee, Holt RFC and all our volunteers, without which the event couldn't have happened. We’d also like to thank everyone who came along, including colleagues from NSFT and Mind. Everyone enjoyed the touch rugby game so much that we are planning to make it an annual fixture.

“We also hope the weekend encouraged a few people to think about taking up rugby. Clubs from across Norfolk are always happy to welcome new faces, and not only is the sport great for fitness but is also good for your mental health too.

“Everybody at Holt RFC also is thinking about Ben and Tom Youngs (who are both ex Holt RFC players) and Toms wife Tiffany who is terminally ill at this time. Rugby is a big family.”