MEN who are suffering from mental health issues are being encouraged to join sports clubs as part of a new campaign.

Volunteers from Aireborough RUFC have launched the initiative to help deal with deteriorating mental health, particularly in men.

Club captain Tim Baxter and community development volunteer Gemma Birbeck have teamed up with Time to Change champion and trustee for Leeds Survivor Led Crisis, Lisa Bourne to put the new initiative forward.

The T.A.C.K.L.E campaign (Take Action, Change Knowledge, Lend an Ear) will comprise of a series of events designed to raise awareness of how being part of a team and participating in sport can have a positive impact on mental well-being.

Each of the events will provide a safe environment for people to learn about the benefits of sports participation, how to eat for a healthy mind, the importance of looking after their mental health and how to support friends and family who may be experiencing mental health issues.

Lisa Bourne said: “I’m thrilled that Aireborough RUFC have jumped at the chance to join me in launching this new campaign.”

“It is so important that as a community we are supportive of each other and recognise the ways in which we can improve mental well-being.

“I believe that for a lot of people, participating in sport, particularly team sports, could have a really positive effect on their mental health.

“We know that there are a number of barriers that prevent people reaching out, but ‘T.A.C.K.L.E’ aims to break these barriers down.”

Aireborough RUFC’s club captain Tim Baxter added: “Having played at Aireborough RUFC for 33 seasons, I have witnessed the positive effect that team sports can have on both men and women.

“By being involved with ‘T.A.C.K.L.E’, I hope to raise awareness amongst members of the community, of the benefits of being part of a team and how participating in sport at any age can improve self-esteem, lift low mood and ultimately lower the risk of mental health issues.”

Delivered in partnership with State of Mind Sport, Andy’s Man Club Leeds and Leeds Rhinos, the first event will take place at Aireborough RUFC, Yeadon, on Wednesday, July 10 at 6.45pm.

It will be open to anyone who is experiencing or has experienced mental health issues or supported someone with mental health issues, as well as anyone who would like to know more about the positive impact sports participation can have on mental health.

For more information about the event, or to book a free place, visit