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Five Ulster and Ireland Rugby stars are teaming up with Purpose Training and ‘Tackle Your Feelings’ – Rugby Players Ireland’s positive mental wellbeing campaign – to highlight the positive impact of exercise on mental health and wellbeing and raise funds for AWARE.

Chris Henry, Paul Marshall, Tommy Bowe, Andrew Trimble and Neve Jones will take to Facebook Live to ‘Sweat with Purpose’ on Saturday 27 June at 10.00am. Led by Purpose Training head coach Jonny Rowan, the 30-minute online live workout is anticipated to attract hundreds of participants from across Ireland, north and south, and further afield.

With participants requested to make a minimum donation of £10.00 via the ‘Sweat with Purpose’ Eventbrite page (, all proceeds will go to AWARE – the depression charity which supports people affected by depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

Established in 2015, Purpose Training is a premium functional fitness facility based on Belfast’s Cregagh Road.  Owner and head coach Jonny Rowan explained how the COVID-19 pandemic inspired the fundraiser event.

“The benefits of exercise have long been linked to positive mental health and wellbeing, as well as good physical health and fitness,” he said.

“This has been highlighted more clearly than ever before by leaders in every nation across the world throughout the COVID-19 crisis, when even the strictest of lockdown restrictions have allowed for daily exercise.

“In partnership with Tackle Your Feelings, we wanted to do something that would not only reinforce this message, but also raise vital funds at a time when charities are among the hardest hit by the pandemic.”

Former Ulster and Ireland back row Chris Henry said: “When you’re playing rugby fulltime, you get to experience first-hand just how impactful exercise can be on your mental health and wellbeing. But we know that for thousands of people across Ireland each year, exercise simply isn’t enough and the challenges they face with their mental health require much more specialised care and support.

Paul Marshall celebrates with Chris Henry
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye/Darren Kidd

“Any one of us can be impacted by mental health issues at any time and that’s really why we were so keen to get behind ‘Sweat for Purpose’. As well as being a great excuse for a few of us to get together again and pound it out for 30 minutes, we hope it drives awareness of what is now such a prevalent issue and raises vital funds for what is a truly outstanding charity.”

Ulster’s Neve Jones tackles Shannon Tuohey of Connacht
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

AWARE’s vision for the future is that everyone can talk about their mental health openly, access services appropriate to their needs and develop the skills and knowledge to maintain positive mental health. The focus of the charity’s work is to educate and provide support to people living with or affected by depression.

Lesley Wright, Community and Events Fundraising Officer with AWARE, commented: “We are delighted to be the nominated charity for Purpose Training’s ‘Sweat with Purpose’ live workout.

“Exercise can have many benefits for your mental health – it can reduce stress and anxiety, whilst also improving your mood.

“It’s great to see those from the world of rugby come together with Purpose Training to raise awareness of mental health in Northern Ireland. Funds raised for AWARE will go to support those in Northern Ireland who are struggling with their mental health, particularly at this difficult time.”

‘Sweat with Purpose’ will be suitable for people of all ages and abilities, and no equipment is required. To register for the event, search ‘Sweat with Purpose’ on Eventbrite or click here:


  • For more information about ‘Sweat with Purpose’ and Purpose Training, follow @PurposeTrainingBelfast on Facebook or on Instagram


  • To hear more about Tackle Your Feelings follow @tyf on Instagram, visit and download the FREE app from Google Play and the App Store.


  • To learn more about the work of Aware, visit: in Northern Ireland or in the Republic of Ireland.