Latest News

SA Rugby Legends Association tackles mental health issues amongst rugby players

SA Rugby Legends Association tackles mental health issues amongst rugby players

The world of rugby was rocked earlier this year following the tragic death of former Australian international player Dan Vickermann.

Since February 2017, when the news broke of his death by suicide at the age of 37, it has emerged that depression had dogged Vickerman following his retirement from professional rugby.

Although people tend to see athletes as strong and healthy, the sad news about Vickerman has highlighted the need for the sporting world to focus on the mental health of players. Mental illness is a silent but devastating condition that affects an estimated 350 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

“We are starting to talk more openly about how depression and other mental illnesses can impact the well-being of athletes,” said SARLA CEO Stefan Terblanche. “Former rugby players and other sports professionals can be drastically affected, particularly when they transition from the locker room to the boardroom, or any life after sport. The change in lifestyle can be extremely difficult and we need to address these issues before we hear of any more deaths like Dan’s”, said Terblanche.

In 2015, the SA Rugby Legend’s Association, along with the SA Rugby Player’s Association, SA Rugby, the Union des Jouers de Rugby Professionals and the Irish Rugby Union Players Association participated in groundbreaking scientific research on this topic, making them some of the first rugby bodies to do so. The study was conducted by UCT’s Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, along with the University of Amsterdam’s Academic Centre for Evidence Based Sports Medicine, and focused on emotional health issues amongst retired professional rugby players from France, Ireland and South Africa.

The study questionnaire allowed 295 former players between the ages of 35 to 48 to give honest and insightful feedback to researchers. Preliminary results showed a wide variety of emotional symptoms that had adversely affected participants since retiring, from symptoms of distress and depression to sleep disturbances, adverse alcohol use behaviour, smoking and poor eating habits.

“The findings were clearly an indication that not much is being done to identify potential mental health issues at an early stage of a professional’s career, or that much is being done at any level to address this”, said Terblanche.

“As a retired professional player myself, I know what it is like to go from being much lauded and well-looked after in a team environment, to going out and managing your life on your own afterwards”, he said.

“For some the transition is manageable but, for others who have literally stepped out of a school environment into the structures of a professional rugby club or team, it is not so easy,” he added.  “This is where organisations such as SARLA and SARPA are able to offer some guidance and assistance”.

Since it’s inception in 2001, one of the main aims of SARLA has been to support the needs and interests of former first class rugby players. SARLA is concerned by the fact that even after the findings of the mental health study were released, nothing was implemented to help players who were struggling. Terblanche notes , “It is a time like this that we are reminded of the objectives of SARLA and how we as an organisation need to do more to tackle this problem head on”.

As a first step in order to achieve this SARLA, along with SARPA, has launched a 24-hour mental health helpline for any current and former players in need of assistance. The number is 0860 995 149 and mental health professionals are on hand to talk to callers and provide advice on how to proceed.

SARLA is reaching out to their rugby brothers and sisters and encouraging them to seek the help that they need. Anyone who feels distressed or in need of support is welcome to contact the help line.




Get It Magazine Durban March 2018

Alice Leah: Queen of Networking
View magazine

The world-class Beatles Tribute returns to rock Durban!

The Easter bunny won’t be the only one hopping into Durban this Easter as Beatlemania On Tour will be bouncing around stage when they kick off their week-long tour run in Sibaya Casino over the Easter break from 29 March to 8 April 2018.


Win tickets to Decorex Durban

Leaders in the décor, design and lifestyle trade, Decorex Durban, will inspire visitors to find their unique #rhythmoflife with a range of stylish services and products featuring at the Durban Exhibition Centre from 21 to 25 March.


Sweetie Pie Easter Egg

Sweetie Pie is a South African favourite, and with Easter around the corner this mouthful of goodness from Beyers is now available in a limited edition Sweetie Pie Easter Egg that will delight all loyal fans.


Carrol Boyes Wines Collection

Lovers of renowned gifting and homeware label Carrol Boyes will know that over the years the brand has come to encompass far more than the distinctive tableware for which it first became so highly revered.


March Spoil

Let’s get together!


Chocolate for everyone

Who doesn’t love Peter Rabbit? Who doesn’t love Cadbury Dairy Milk?


World class London Dry Gin

Stretton’s Gin has come to the rescue of all gin-lovers with a collaboration that’s bound to be the talk of the town.


Chocolate Mozart

Renowned for their mouth-watering, decadent and convenient desserts, Chateau Gateaux has become Durban’s most-loved Patisserie – an obsession to say the least.


Bespoke baby gear, designed with the supermom in mind!

When it comes to baby brands, there are so many great companies out there producing some incredible stuff. On an international level, we are of course envious of some of the adventurous, fun and fabulous products on the market (not all of which we can always get our hands on), so we simply cannot contain ourselves when every now and again we stumble across some equally great brands produced on our very own doorstep…


50 Shades of Pink

When it comes to wine, especially rosé, there are loads of guys who won’t touch it. Maybe it’s because they prefer a beer or a more refined spirit; maybe it’s because it comes in a stemmed glass, who knows?. What we can say though, based on the confessions of our local wine fundi, Jan-Nico Coetzee, is that even the tough guys have a palate for rose, and thanks to the bottled beauties listed below, we now know just why.

is a national brand of premium free magazines available in centres across the country.

Click here

to see other Get It magazines in the network.