Norwich City’s Academy players have been taking part in gambling awareness workshops delivered by the Club’s main sponsor LeoVegas.
The workshops focussed on what gambling is, why people do it and the main symptoms of addiction.
Clive Cook, Norwich’s Professional Development Phase Player Care Manager, said the Club is committed to promoting the message of safe gambling and will continue working with LeoVegas to deliver a programme of support for players at all levels.
He said: “If gambling is a big problem in society and part of football’s culture then we have to address it and because of our partner’s LeoVegas we have been able to get a great programme in place very quickly and it will be continuous and developmental.
“In six years, prior to coming to Norwich, I have worked with three players who had gambling addictions and I’ve spoken to the lads here about it and been open with them.
“I’m determined now to make sure it doesn’t happen at Norwich, and the way we do that is by raising awareness and educating the boys in terms of what is safe gambling, what symptoms to be aware of and the dangers to be aware of. If they are in one of the workshops and they’ve got any concerns, they will now know who they can turn to for support.”
LeoVegas has been working with the Club to promote safe gambling since the partnership began, and the recently delivered workshops comprised two 90-minute training session for the Under-18s and Under-23s, with hour workshops for the Under-13s to Under-16s.
Clive said: “It was fantastic. They put together an introduction to what gambling is and why people do it and went into the psychology behind it. They spoke about symptoms to look out for and some of the behaviours associated with that.
“They used case studies to show how it has affected some players’ lives and careers and they used case studies to show safe practice, with the boys hearing about a player who had a gambling addiction, but he got support to help him manage it and have a successful career. They also spoke about all the organisations in the country, including Sporting Chance supported by the PFA, who can offer support for players.
“The workshops were really good and engaging and they asked the players questions and invited good debate from all the participants. In all of the sessions the players were really engaged and asking lots of questions.”
LeoVegas also operates LeoSafePlay, a dedicated Responsible Gambling platform which includes information about the risks associated with gambling and measures which may be taken to mitigate the risks. They also offer support to customers on whom gambling has had a negative effect through their LeoCare program, which offers free 12-month Gamban subscriptions as well as the partial sponsorship of therapy sessions.