Huddersfield YMCA captain Stuart Dyke has been a tower of strength on and off the pitch.
During lockdown Stuart, 30, volunteered in the community in and around Longwood. From dog walking to collecting shopping Stuart showed a bit of kindness helping out where he could.
“It’s nice to be nice to people, there isn’t enough of it about,” said Stuart. “A lot of people who I helped were very appreciative. I think a bit of kindness goes a long way. You don’t know what people are going through or how they might be struggling.
“I have been raised to help people and to be kind. It’s just my nature, to be honest.”
Stuart, who has captained the club for five seasons, is also keenly aware of the mental health issues some of his teammates have gone through in the last 12 months.
He feels that because of the family feel of the club and the dressing room it has helped some players talk more openly about their feelings and problems.
“I’ve been ok over the last year,” said Stuart. “Because I work in the construction industry I’ve been classed as a key worker so I’ve worked all the way through.
“There has been some really good constructive conversation with the lads. Usually you might not get a rugby lad opening up because of the ‘tough lad’ tag we are supposed to have.
“However, what has been nice is that in some of these conversations the lads have had. They feel comfortable enough to talk in the group about some of the issues they are having. They are slowly opening up which in turn has brought us all closer.
“I have had a few mates who have struggled, but because I took time to listen they are now coming out of those struggles.”
The club fell into administration in 2019, but Stuart feels two years on the YM is now re-building for the future.
Stuart is looking forward to that future and, as well as being club captain, he’s had a place on the club committee for the past year.
“I’m going into my fifth season as club captain and I love it,” said Stuart. “I like being the head of the team and being a leader.
“I like to think people listen to me as I have some great ideas. I enjoy having the power but using it as a positive.
“I joined the club committee last year. Not everyone is interested in what goes on behind the scenes. Some lads just want to turn up and play which is fair enough. However, I am interested in what goes on for sure.
“The club has had a tough 18 months, going through administration and relegation so the big idea is to get the club back to a real competitive level and to be sustainable.
“I want us to be playing at least two leagues above if we can get there.”