Rugby league team Leeds Rhinos has partnered with the Samaritans to display the charity’s logo on the players’ tops for one game.
The team’s usual main sponsor Leeds Building Society gifted the Samaritans their spot on the shirts for one game as part of its two-year partnership with the charity, which aims to raise £250,000 to enhance the technology available to volunteers across the charity’s branches.
Leeds Rhinos will wear the kit featuring the Samaritans’ logo for their Super League match at home to St Helens at the 17,500-seater Emerald Headingley Stadium on 15 August. The tie will also be broadcast on Sky Sports.
Ruth Sutherland, chief executive at Samaritans, said: “We’re delighted that Leeds Building Society is affirming its commitment to raising awareness of mental wellbeing by gifting its shirt sponsorship to us.
“It will be fantastic to see Leeds Rhinos running out with our logo on their shirts. We hope our involvement will raise awareness of the free service Samaritans provides to anyone who is going through a difficult time, and encourage fans to think about their own mental health and those close to them.”
Gary Hetherington, chief executive at Leeds Rhinos, said: “Mental wellbeing is a key focus for our club and the Leeds Rhinos Foundation so it’s great to be work with Leeds Building Society and Samaritans to help raise awareness among our fans at the game and for those watching on TV.
“A number of our current and former players have spoken candidly about their own mental wellbeing and I know they are looking forward to pulling on these unique shirts for the game against St Helens.”
Richard Fearon, chief executive at Leeds Building Society, said: “Samaritans became our first ever national charity partner in 2018 and we’ve worked with them to increase awareness of mental health among our colleagues and members.
"We’ve had fantastic support from both and are well on our way to reaching our £250,000 target ahead of schedule.
“By donating our prime position on the Leeds Rhinos shirt for the St Helens game we’re making space for Samaritans to raise awareness among a different audience about their important work and how volunteers support mental wellbeing.”