Lewis, Kiara, Rodriguez, Alison, Sherretts, Nicole and Kola, Susanna (2016) Super League Player Welfare Study: A Mixed Method Evaluation. Project Report. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK. (Unpublished)

The central focus of the current research was to use mixed methods to evaluate current perceptions, experiences and needs with regard to player welfare provision in the Rugby Football League (RFL).
Specifically, by using an anonymous survey with professional players and confidential semi-structured interviews with player welfare managers, the study aimed to meet the following objectives:
 To explore professional players’ perceptions and experiences of the RFL player welfare policy, successes achieved and challenges to be overcome by player welfare managers
 To explore player welfare managers’ perceptions and experiences of player welfare
 To explore what assets exist in different clubs throughout the league, and how these assets can be utilised to improve player welfare.
 To explore trends and links in players perceptions and mental health and wellbeing
The players’ survey was carried out between January and May 2015 and repeated again between January and May 2016, with some additional questions. The first year of the survey was sent to 420 players, of which 103 responded (a response rate of 25%), which resulted in a sample of 96 participants. The response rate was much higher in the second year as there were 210 responses from the 450 players (a response rate of 47%), leading to 196 participants.
Semi-structured interviews were carried out with the player welfare managers (PWM) in year 1 and year 2. There were 11 interviews conducted in year 1 and 12 in year 2. In some cases this was the same person, in others a new person was in post. The interviews lasted between 20 minutes and 80 minutes and allowed an in-depth understanding of the role of the PWMs.

RFL Report 2016.pdf

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