Tony Adams pleased as PCA joins forces with Sporting Chance

By George Sessions, PA
PA Media: Sport

Tony Adams is pleased to permanently add cricket to Sporting Chance’s portfolio of clients, with the charity launching its partnership with the Professional Cricketers’ Association and Professional Cricketers’ Trust on Monday.

The former Arsenal captain founded the clinic in September 2000 and hopes the latest sport to come on board can follow a similar trajectory to Rugby League.

Sporting Chance became involved with cricket in 2018, putting on education sessions for cricketers in the County Championship before last year helping players who had asked for help and now they have cemented their link.

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“What makes us special is we have every part of the journey looked after,” Adams told PA news agency.

“We have four services with the 24/7 helpline, one-to-one therapy and the clinic and education department so we have every corner looked after.”

The Premier League, Professional Footballers’ Association, Football Assocation, Professional Darts Players’ Association, Professional Jockeys’ Association and Rugby Football League are all on board with Sporting Chance.

Adams started working with rugby league nine years ago and is pleased almost everyone in the sport knows where to go if they need assistance.

“We do a survey in the RFL every year and we have been delivering education since 2011 and they have taken all our services,” he added.

Tony Adams, left, is president of Rugby Football League (Peter Nicholls/PA)
Tony Adams, left, is president of Rugby Football League (Peter Nicholls/PA)

“We did a survey with them where we ask do you know who the Sporting Chance are? Do you know what the Sporting Chance do? And do you know how to access the Sporting Chance?

“The survey came back last year at 98 per cent that every Rugby League player knew those three questions. That is a nine-year process starting with education.

“We are two years into this contract and hopefully we get that level of knowing where to go, what we do and basically they know where to get help if they need it.”

Ian Thomas, who is a director of development and welfare at PCA and trust director for the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, believes joining forces with Sporting Chance will only improve the already strong support they provide for members.

Last year, a record number of past and present cricketers received mental health support.

“In 2018 Sporting Chance did some work in terms of education. They were involved in speaking to our players about recreational drugs and alcohol and Tony Adams, the founder of the charity, was very much at the front of that,” Thomas told PA news agency.

“It was well received by the players and throughout last year Sporting Chance started to help us with some of our cases, our mental health cases, and at that point we decided to do a full independent mental health review of our provisions, both education and treatment.

“With the ever increasing area of mental health, cricket has been no different and we have seen an increase in demand from our past and current players.

“We made a strategic decision at the end of last year that we would use Sporting Chance as our main provider for any therapy or rehabilitation that was needed for members.”

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