Warriors Women have linked up with wellbeing app GoVox to help their Centre of Excellence trainees stay connected throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
The easy-to-use yet powerful wellbeing platform has been utilised by Centre of Excellence staff to monitor an individuals’ emotional health and happiness as part of the club’s continued commitment to tackling issues surrounding mental health.
Spearheading the initiative is Benny Williams, Head of Women’s Development, who was keen to make sure the girls knew that the club was there for them from the outset.
“With the Centre of Excellence, we knew that we wouldn’t see the girls for a very long time whereas we have so much more contact with our senior team,” said Williams.
“We wanted to make sure that the girls knew that they could come to us with any concerns in a safe space and I thought GoVox would be a good tool to use to open up those conversations.
“During Covid-19 it’s been really challenging because it’s just so uncertain as to what’s going to happen.”
Highlighting the positive effects of GoVox, she added: “I’ve had quite a few red flags identified by the app, especially around May time. People were getting to a stage of not seeing light at the end of the tunnel, so whenever we got the results back from GoVox I’d check in with the girls.
“Sometimes it would be a phone call, but other times it would be an email and most of the time we’d leave the conversation in a better place than when we started.
“Those who have used the tool have really enjoyed using it – I think sometimes the young women we work with feel a little afraid to ask for help. This is always unfortunate as we make sure we try our best to create an environment where they feel empowered to ask for support when they need it.”
Warriors Women are currently gearing up for the new Premier 15s campaign, with the Centre of Excellence the bedrock of their ambition to nurture talent through to the first team. Players aged 15-18 are part of the club’s Centre of Excellence programme and is an important aspect of a players’ development and social circle.
“Young people today have grown up with social media a big part of their lives,” said Williams.
“It’s a different world now and I think we need to acknowledge that these uncertain times throw up all kinds of issues. I often think that if an individual has grown up so closely with social media where everything is judged upon and scrutinised, why wouldn’t they be reticent and sensitive towards opening up.
“Mental health and wellbeing is a conversation that’s being had on a wider scale, not just in sport, but in society in general.
“I know there’s still more work to do, but just in the past few weeks we’ve seen prominent players like Matt Smith share their struggles which is amazing to see.”