Wigan Warriors welcome ex-professional footballer Jeff Whitley and Gaelic footballer Oisin McConville to speak with the Club’s younger players
Former sportsmen now part of Sporting Chance organisation spoke openly about their battle with alcohol, gambling and drugs
- Player Welfare Manager Steve McCormack praises great talk
Wigan Warriors recently welcomed ex-professional footballer Jeff Whitley and Gaelic footballer Oisin McConville to speak with the Club’s younger players.
As part of the on-going Player Welfare Programme at the Club the Warriors regularly invite people to present to the First Team, Under-19s and Scholarship players.
Last week Jeff and Oisin, now of Sporting Chance came to speak with the Club’s younger players.
Inspired by his own recovery from alcoholism and founded in 2000, Sporting Chance Clinic is the brainchild of former Arsenal and England captain Tony Adams MBE.
Based on his experience, and what he felt was lacking, Tony saw the need for a safe, dedicated environment, where sportsmen and women could receive support and counselling for the kinds of destructive behaviour patterns that exist in the world of competitive sport, but that are often denied.
Oisin won an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship medal, seven Ulster Championships and a National League title with the county. Jeff played over 100 games for Manchester City and also represented Northern Ireland 20 times during a 17-year career.
Both Jeff and Oisin spoke openly about their battle with alcohol, gambling and drugs.
Following a visit to Sporting Chance Clinic, Whitley overcame his alcohol and drug addiction to become head of education for the clinic based in Liphook, Hampshire.
Steve McCormack, Player Welfare Manager at the Warriors, was delighted with the presentation: “It is great to listen to the likes of Jeff and Oisin who have experienced issues such as drugs and gambling first-hand.
“We can only benefit from seminars such as this from Sporting Chance, as they show that there is a great support network for all the players and staff should they encounter any problems off the field. Our player welfare programme is a massive part of the culture at the Warriors and all players and staff really buy into the importance of looking after each other both on and off the field.
“Our aim is to not only be the best Rugby League club with regards to Player welfare but the best in sport.”
Pictured (from left to right) Craig Mullen, Oisin McConville, Sam Halsall and Jeff Whitley