With Thursday 7th November marking the start of Responsible Gambling Week, Rotherham United players were paid a visit by former professional cricketer Patrick Foster who now helps spread awareness of gambling addiction through EPIC Risk Management, an organisation set up to identify and reduce the risks caused by gambling in the workplace.
The session was provided by EPIC through the support of the EFL, and the Millers squad sat down to listen to Patrick's story which hit home some strong messages about the issues gambling can pose.
Manager Paul Warne and Assistant Manager Richie Barker were also in attendance and they reiterated that there are support networks out there should anyone need to access them, whilst conveying the message that opening up and talking about issues is often the best way to deal with them.
"It's essential that we brief the players about problems sucn as gambling addiction and we want to help them with anything in their lives really, whether that be financial advice or other things," Warne told themillers.co.uk.
"The lads have plenty of time on their hands and gambling is an easy thing to fall into. I've played with players who did a lot and it did impact their lives, but I want the best for our group and I don't want them to get into trouble with anything.
"We try to do everything we can at the club to help them out and make them aware, so it was great to sit through the presentation as we want the lads to have as much information as possible.
"When we were out in Germany during pre-season we also had a talk about it and one of my staff members took it to talk about his experiences, so we are dedicated into providing everyone at Rotherham United with support. Every person takes their own path, but we wouldn't be doing our jobs correctly if we didn't care for them."
Rotherham United Community Sports Trust also work tirelessly to have a positive impact on the people of South Yorkshire and beyond, and they have been visiting schools across the area to highlight the risks of gambling so that children are aware of the dangers prior to reaching adulthood.
In conjuction with the Young Gamblers' Education Trust, RUCST deliver a programme which is designed to educate young people about the issues associated with problem gambling and online gambling, with the two main aims of these campaigns outlined below:
1. To allow young people to explore different aspects of problem-gambling, identifying risky behaviours and promoting harm-minimisation.
2. Help young people make more informed choices when gaming online through a better understanding of the dangers and risks involved.
Everyone here at Rotherham United would like to encourage those who may feel as if they have a problem with gambling to seek support as soon as possible.