FORMER International rugby referee Nigel Owens visited Hartpury College recently to share how he dealt with past mental health struggles with students.

At an event which focused on men’s mental health, students were “stunned” by the Welsh rugby icon’s openness and vulnerability in talking about his mental health challenges on and off the field.

Mr Owens was joined by former cricketer Patrick Foster to talk on behalf of sports wellbeing charity The Mintridge Foundation.

The pair shared the empowering life events and experiences that have impacted their own mental health.

They each explained how they dealt with those events at the time and how they’ve continued to use their experiences in their continuing journey.

Residential students, predominantly studying agriculture and sport at Hartpury College, were reminded about the importance of recognising if a problem exists and seeking out help.

“Unless you admit that you’re struggling, then you won’t accept it and move on or take action,” Nigel told the students.

“When you’re faced with a problem, you run away. What you actually need to do is to address the problem and get your support network involved,” Patrick added.

The event was funded by the Max Hunter Fund, which was setup in honour of the 28 year-old, who was a great supporter of the Mintridge Foundation, after he died by suicide in 2019.

Katie Smith, Operations Director at The Mintridge Foundation, said: “The Mintridge Foundation was delighted to deliver this men’s mental health evening at Hartpury College with Nigel Owens MBE and Patrick Foster.

"It’s great to be able to use the Max Hunter Fund to support more young people and raise awareness about how we can look after our mental health.”