Former New Zealand rugby star speaks to Scottish Borders students

Ben Atiga was speaking to students about mental health in sport. Credit: Border College

A former New Zealand rugby star has spoken with students at Borders College about mental health in sport.

The Borders College Sport and Exercise department met the former All Black and Edinburgh rugby player.

He spoke about the challenges faced during his professional career and in his personal life. The once capped New Zealand international spoke about his mental health battles.

Atiga is now Player Development Manager for Edinburgh Rugby after retiring in 2015 due to chronic knee and hip injuries.

Atiga finished his playing career at Edinburgh. Credit: PA

He said: “My focus now is on player wellbeing. When I sit down with professional players, my first question is about how they are managing things on a personal perspective. Their performance on the pitch comes second to that.”

Borders College Active Campus Coordinator, Eric Jones, commented: “It was great to welcome Ben to the College. He was obviously a well-known player and he will be able to bring the conversation forward. He has been part of the professional set-up and so can speak about the pressures there, but a lot of it is relevant for our students and grassroots sport as well.”

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