Drawing True Strength from his Support Network

Drawing True Strength from his Support Network

Rugby Players Ireland are teaming up with Ireland international and Leinster rugby player, Andrew Porter, the newest ambassador for Tackle Your Feelings (TYF), to release his new video for the campaign, highlighting the TYF Schools programme. The video highlights the impact of his family and friends on his mental wellbeing since the passing of his mother at a young age, and the importance Andrew places on being surrounded by a strong support network.

The video explores Andrew’s gratefulness for his supportive network of family and friends, who have always been there for him to talk to and to express his feelings. Andrew speaks openly about his fiancé, family, friends and even his dog, Pablo, as the enablers of his strength whether in his personal life or his rugby career.

The Tackle Your Feelings Schools programme encourages all participants to create comparable support networks so they will always have someone to talk to, regardless of how big or small the situation they are facing may seem. As we begin a new year, Andrew is hoping to inspire others to be a positive influence on their own network of friends and family and emphasises how crucial it is to create those meaningful connections to support the development of mental resilience, and to create an environment where you can show your true feelings.

The Tackle Your Feelings Schools Programme is a classroom-based, teacher-led, life skills development programme which enables students to build healthy habits and personal coping strategies as well as kindness and understanding when it comes to mental health and wellbeing. The content for the app-based programme, is developed using positive psychology and sport psychology principles and is supported with comprehensive lesson plans for teachers, whilst students can easily access the content when in school or at home. The FREE programme includes an 8-lesson schedule, covering awareness, emotions, wellbeing characteristics and self-care.

Speaking about the TYF Schools programme, Ireland and Leinster Rugby Player and Tackle Your Feelings ambassador, Andrew Porter, said: “I’m delighted to lend my support to the Tackle Your Feelings Schools campaign. Tackle Your Feelings is an incredibly important tool and one that I have used extensively during my rugby career. I attribute my mental strength to the incredible people around me. It’s so important for young people to build a strong support network and I would encourage everyone taking part in the Tackle Your Feelings Schools programme to take some time to reflect and start to build that network now, as these are the people who will be there supporting you giving you strength as you go through life.”

Anthony Brennan, CEO of Zurich Ireland said: “We in Zurich are thrilled to welcome Andrew on board as an ambassador for Tackle Your Feelings. Andrew is known as someone who is incredibly strong and powerful on the pitch and to hear today that he gathers his mental strength from the people closest to him is very inspiring. As we start a new beginning, entering 2023, we hope everyone aspires to become a positive influence on their own support network and looks to Andrew’s story of trusting those closest to him, a close circle who he can reach out and talk to when he’s not feeling ok. We know Andrew’s story will inspire and continue to encourage people of all ages to courageously begin taking control of their own feelings.”

Tackle Your Feelings Campaign Manager at RPI, Hannah McCormack, said: “We are delighted to have Andrew as our newest ambassador for the Tackle Your Feelings campaign. Andrew has gone through some incredibly tough experiences both on and off the pitch and hearing him speak so openly about his reliance on others during his most vulnerable moments is a testament to his mental strength. We hope Andrew’s story will empower people to begin speaking more openly with those around them and find people who will be a guiding light and offer support unconditionally, today and into the future.”

TYF has motivated people across Ireland to be more proactive when it comes to looking after their mental wellbeing and has increased awareness around the importance of taking care of your mental health. TYF has also reached international audiences and has inspired similar campaigns across the globe, including; The English Rugby Players’ Association (RPA), ‘Lift the Weight’ campaign, New Zealand Rugby’s ‘HeadFirst’ campaign and Tackle Your Feelings Australia, a collaboration between Zurich Australia, the AFLPA and AFLCA.

For more information on Tackle Your Feelings follow the Instagram account @tyf or visit the website which will share videos, updates on events and competitions.

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