England and Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield has shown his support for the next generation of Super League stars by taking part in an educational workshop delivered to young professionals at the John Smith's Stadium in Huddersfield.
Sinfield delivered one of the keynote speeches as part of the Professional Players' Continuation Programme (PPCP), a course held specifically for players aged 17 and 18 who signed their first professional playing contract in 2011. The course aims to educate the players about life as a professional sportsman and equip them with the tools they need to help them progress in their career and avoid potential pitfalls.
"It's a full-on day for the young lads but I think it's a great idea to provide them with all the support," said Sinfield. "I thought all the workshops were very relevant to what the players may well experience in the future.
"I wish it had been in place when I was 17 as I think it's really useful and provides information away from the on-field activity which is really important these days.
"I gave them an insight into what it's really like to be a full-time sports professional and a first team player in Super League. It was more about what to expect and the mental side of the game rather than about the playing side. I think it was well received and I hope the players got something out of it."
The first part of the course was held in 2011 when the players were put through cardiac screening tests and educated about setting goals, the dangers of drugs and alcohol, use of social media and budgeting and financial planning.
The second part of the PPCP course saw 100 players in attendance and engaged the youngsters in several workshops, some of which were run by players past and present. Widnes player Jon Clarke delivered a session about behaviour off the field, former Huddersfield Giants coach Jon Sharp held a workshop about gambling and integrity and ex-Salford City Reds player Paul Highton spoke about Sporting Chance.
Other workshops held on the day included information on sexual health and sleeping patterns.
RFL Operations Director Emma Rosewarne said: "The course aims to equip the game's young players with the information and skills needed to be a professional Rugby League player.
"It's important that young players receive as much advice and education on the life of a professional player as we can provide them with to help them over the coming years."
Following both teams elimination from the Tetley's Challenge Cup last weekend, Leeds Rhinos and Wakefield have agreed to re-arrange the date for their postponed Round Eight Super League clash at the Rapid Solicitor's Stadium which will now be played on Friday 26th July, kick off 8pm.
Rugby League fans will have the opportunity to put questions about the ongoing Policy Review and planned competition restructuring directly to RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood and RFL Chief Operating Officer Ralph Rimmer in a ground-breaking online question and answer session on Friday (May 17).