Cardiff Rugby Trio Team Up To Tackle Violence Against Women

Cardiff Rugby players Ellis Jenkins, Theo Cabango and Teddy Williams got together at the Arms Park recently to discuss healthy relationships, what men can do to help women feel safe, and the importance of having open conversations with male friends and colleagues.

The athletes were speaking as ambassadors for the Sound Campaign, a project which looks to raise awareness of early red flags in relationships by sounding out concerns with friends, getting sound advice from trusted sources, and being ‘sound as’, by modelling positive behaviours in day-to-day life.

The overall aim is to end all violence against women and girls across Wales.

Speaking about his involvement, Cabango said, “it can be hard sometimes, especially when you’re young. There’s lots of kids worried about their girlfriends or boyfriends, where they’re going and what they’re doing. I think a healthy relationship must have trust, and I think you need quite a lot of self-reflection too.”

Williams picked up on self-reflection, adding, “sometimes when emotions are high, in the heat of the moment, you might behave in a certain way and when you reflect you think, oh I could have dealt with that better.”

Jenkins, who married West End star Sophie Evans last year and recently became a father, wanted to address outdated ideas around masculinity.

“There are a lot of perceptions around ‘what it is to be a man.’ Challenging those stereotypes is important. It’s all about looking at how you’ve handled certain situations and accepting that perhaps you could’ve handled it better. It’s the realisation that none of us are going to be perfect all the time.”

Cabango highlighted the importance of men talking about relationships and asking one another for help.

“The rugby team, we’re like a family, you’re not going to agree on everything, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to take it in, take it onboard, and listen.”

Jenkins agreed. “Rugby has been a huge teacher for me really. I hear the young boys having conversations now that certainly would not have happened back when I was first coming through. People asking ‘how’s your head’ if someone has gone through a break-up or has an illness in the family or anything like that. It’s so encouraging to see the boys checking in on each other and making it so much more apparent that stuff might be going on, and that it’s ok.

The full conversation between the players, and more relationship advice and support can be found on the Sound Cymru YouTube page and social channels.