Up and down Wales, our clubs, coaches and volunteers have been supporting their communities during the tough months of the pandemic.

This week, the National Lottery’s Dedicated To…campaign is shining a light on the grassroots sporting heroes that have been keeping us all going – mentally and physically – since Covid-19 hit the headlines earlier this year.

Mental health has been high on the agenda with many people reporting increased levels of anxiety. And it is an issue that rugby league regional representative side, North Wales Origin is all too aware of. Their Chairman Conrad Anderson explains:

Conrad (on the right) along with the NW Origin coaching staff.

“I take mental health issues very seriously. My brother died of it two years ago so I am always telling our players, “it’s ok not to be ok.” We all need to speak out if we are struggling.

“Rugby League can be seen as a game that is macho and strong but we all have life’s stresses going on. Rugby League is a social network and we need to support each other.”

It is Conrad’s approach to mental health that recently encouraged five players to come forward and admit they have been struggling. Conrad decided that as well as the weekly Zoom quizzes and chats, they would all take part in a mental health and wellbeing course:

“We approached the Wales Rugby League and we were able to organise mental health and wellbeing sessions with Rugby League Cares and State of Mind which is run by ex-professionals of the game. We are not social workers but we can encourage people to come to us if they need anything and we can signpost people to those that can help further.”

Conrad has also tapped into his skills as a rugby league commentator and filmed player profile interviews for social media:

“It has helped raise morale and was a fun distraction from lockdown.”

The club – which is a step on the performance pathway for the region’s best players – was finally able to organise a training session in August:

“Thanks to the National Lottery, we were able to get a grant from the Sport Wales Be Active Wales Fund and we have been able to buy PPE, hand sanitiser and hazard tape – basically everything we need to create a Covid-safe environment.

“We rely heavily on sponsors and of course we have lost income this year because of the financial climate. The National Lottery has helped us fill the gap and we are so grateful. It’s been a lifeline for us and it guarantees us at

least another year of operation. Many of our players come from deprived areas across North Wales so the funding was very welcome.

Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, many of which are supporting the most vulnerable in communities across the UK during the Coronavirus crisis.


SYLW I NORTH WALES ORIGIN GAN Y LOTERI GENEDLAETHOL

Ar hyd a lled Cymru, mae ein clybiau, ein hyfforddwyr a’n gwirfoddolwyr wedi bod yn cefnogi eu cymunedau yn ystod misoedd anodd y pandemig.

Yr wythnos yma, mae ymgyrch Ymrwymiad I… y Loteri Genedlaethol yn rhoi sylw i arwyr chwaraeon ar lawr gwlad sydd wedi bod yn ein cynnal ni i gyd – yn feddyliol ac yn gorfforol – ers i Covid-19 daro’r penawdau yn gynharach eleni.

Mae iechyd meddwl wedi bod yn uchel ar yr agenda gyda llawer o bobl yn nodi lefelau uwch o orbryder. Ac mae’n broblem y mae’r cynrychiolwyr rhanbarthol, North Wales Origin, yn ymwybodol iawn ohono. Dyma Gadeirydd y Clwb, Conrad Anderson, i esbonio:

“Rydw i’n cymryd materion iechyd meddwl o ddifrif. Fe fu farw fy mrawd i ohono ddwy flynedd yn ôl felly rydw i bob amser yn dweud wrth ein chwaraewyr ni, “mae’n iawn peidio bod yn iawn”. Mae angen i bob un ohonom ni siarad os ydyn ni’n cael anawsterau.

“Mae rygbi’r gynghrair yn gallu cael ei gweld fel gêm macho i bobl gryf, ond mae gan bob un ohonom ni straen yn digwydd yn ein bywyd ni. Mae rygbi’r gynghrair yn rhwydwaith cymdeithasol ac mae angen i ni gefnogi ein gilydd.”

Agwedd Conrad at iechyd meddwl anogodd bum chwaraewr yn ddiweddar i ddod ymlaen a chyfaddef eu bod wedi bod yn cael trafferth. Penderfynodd Conrad y byddai pawb yn cymryd rhan mewn cwrs iechyd a lles y meddwl, yn ogystal â’r cwisiau a’r sgyrsiau Zoom wythnosol:

“Fe aethon ni at Rygbi’r Gynghrair Cymru ac roedd posib i ni drefnu sesiynau iechyd a lles y meddwl gyda Rugby League Cares a State of Mind sy’n cael eu cynnal gan gyn chwaraewyr proffesiynol y gêm. Dydyn ni ddim yn weithwyr cymdeithasol ond fe allwn ni annog pobl i ddod atom ni os oes arnyn nhw angen unrhyw beth ac fe allwn ni gyfeirio pobl at unigolion a all helpu ymhellach.”

Mae Conrad hefyd wedi manteisio ar ei sgiliau fel sylwebydd rygbi’r gynghrair ac wedi ffilmio cyfweliadau proffil chwaraewyr ar gyfer y cyfryngau cymdeithasol:

“Mae wedi helpu i godi morâl ac roedd yn ffordd hwyliog o dynnu sylw oddi wrth y cyfnod clo.”

Llwyddodd y clwb – sy’n gam ar y llwybr perfformio i chwaraewyr gorau’r rhanbarth – i drefnu sesiwn hyfforddi o’r diwedd ym mis Awst:

“Diolch i’r Loteri Genedlaethol, fe gawsom ni grant gan Gronfa Cymru Actif Chwaraeon Cymru ac rydyn ni wedi gallu prynu cyfarpar diogelu personol, diheintydd dwylo a thâp perygl – yn y bôn popeth sydd arnom ni ei angen i greu amgylchedd sy’n ddiogel rhag Covid.

“Rydyn ni’n dibynnu’n drwm ar noddwyr ac wrth gwrs rydyn ni wedi colli incwm eleni oherwydd yr hinsawdd ariannol. Mae’r Loteri Genedlaethol wedi ein helpu ni i lenwi’r bwlch ac rydyn ni mor ddiolchgar. Mae wedi bod yn achubiaeth i ni ac mae’n gwarantu blwyddyn arall o weithredu. Mae llawer o’n chwaraewyr ni’n dod o ardaloedd difreintiedig ledled Gogledd Cymru felly roedd croeso mawr i’r arian.”

Diolch i chwaraewyr y Loteri Genedlaethol, mae £30 miliwn yn cael ei godi bob wythnos ar gyfer achosion da. Mae llawer o’r arian yma’n cefnogi’r bobl fwyaf agored i niwed yn ein cymunedau ni ledled y DU yn ystod argyfwng y Coronafeirws.

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