A ex-Rifles has praised the rugby family for helping him to deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and financial issues.

Chris Tandy, 30, left the Rifles five years ago and suffered with PTSD as he came back into civilian life.

However, he has been helped in the last year by the support networks at Painswick Rugby Club and Rugby For Heroes.

Chris Tandy packs down for Painswick
Chris Tandy packs down for Painswick

Tandy said: “I really struggled to adapt to civilian life when I came out of the army and had problems with PTSD.

“Since joining Painswick it has helped me to get away from some of the issues I was having and adapt to civilian life.”

The prop, who lives in Gloucester, played rugby before he joined the army.

Tandy served in Afganistan, he also had postings in Canada, Germany, Cyprus and Dubai.

He said: “Both the army and rugby have a lot of the same core values and that has helped me to be able to readapt to civiliam live.

“The teamwork and the integration between everyone in the squads are very similar.

“There is a good support network around the club.

“Playing the game, it is good to be able to get that aggression out and hit the opposition harder than they hit me.”

Chris Tandy helping to paint the clubhouse at Natwest Rugby Force day despite his broken ankle
Chris Tandy helping to paint the clubhouse at Natwest Rugby Force day despite his broken ankle

Tandy has since began working with Rugby For Heroes and completed both his RFU Coaching Level Two and Refereeing Level One qualifications.

“Working with Rugby For Heroes has been a great help,” said Tandy.

“Now that they have helped me to get these awards I want to help to give something back to Painswick.

“The seniors don’t have a great deal to do with the Colts at the moment but I want to help to coach them.

“It will get everything at the club moving in the same direction, helping to create the next generation for the senior side.”

Tandy found himself in financial trouble after injury forced him out of his work as a driver and a security guard.

Chris Tandy of Painswick
Chris Tandy of Painswick

He said: “I wasn’t insured when I broke my ankle playing rugby, so it screwed me over.

“I haven’t been able to work, so we have struggled to pay bills.

“My wife has been working full-time to try to pay the bills but we have still been struggling.”

At this point his Painswick teammates did something incredible to help him.

Tandy said: “The lads had a whip round to get together the money to help us pay our bills.

“I struggled with it at first, I’ve always been a proud man person and I would rather help people out than be helped.

“But my wife spoke to me and it was a huge help. It just shows how strong the rugby family is and how much they can help.”


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