We believe that healthy bodies and healthy minds are crucial to enabling any young person to reach their potential. We run a range of programmes and partnerships that focus on health and wellbeing, including personal development, nutrition and mental resilience.


Mental health affects one in four people in the UK. In Richmond Upon Thames there are more than 2,000 15 to 16-year-olds with a mental health disorder.

In June 2016, the Harlequins Foundation launched METTLE, an exciting and innovative mental health campaign which – through our resources, brand and experience – aims to raise awareness, challenge the stigma and build mental resilience.

Campaign aims:
  • Raise awareness of mental health as an issue for young people and within our sport.
  • Build the mental resilience of young people in our boroughs.
  • Better equip our coaches to deal with mental health and promote mental wellbeing.
  • Support our staff and players.

In September 2016, we piloted an eight week mental resilience schools programme, developed by the Harlequins Foundation, with 165 Year Six pupils across four local primary schools.

METTLE schools programme aims
  • Educate children to understand the concept of resilience and the factors that contribute towards its development.
  • Equip children with psychological tools they can draw on in their everyday lives.
  • Inspire children to think, feel and behave in an increasingly positive and resilient manner.
  • Engage teachers and parents to support and embed above.

The pilot was evaluated by St Mary’s University and we have gone on to test the programme in secondary schools and universities. Our aim for 2017/2018 is to deliver METTLE to primary schools across the borough, as well as working with more specific at-risk groups, developing a suitable secondary offer, and growing the University programme based on the feedback from a further evaluation.

You can read the full background to the campaign and the findings from the evaluation of our primary pilot in this report.

If you would like to discuss METTLE, including how you or your school / organisation can get involved, You can contact Paul Wilson by clicking here.

“If we can support young people at an early stage, we can help prevent the more severe problems adults experience. Sport is the perfect arena to tackle this stigma and we are delighted that Harlequins are taking this initiative and using their skills to support local communities through sport and coaching.”
– Val Farmer, Chief Executive of Richmond Borough MIND