In the position of pro-sport facilitator, Hampshire fast bowler Chris Wood has joined the gambling-harm minimisation consultancy Epic Risk Management.
The step follows Wood recently outlining an 11-year struggle with a gambling problem to the PCA’s registered charity, the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, joining former Northants bowler Patrick Foster at the business.
In a Tony Adams Sporting Chance podcast, Wood, who made his first-class debut for Hampshire against Oxford University in 2010 and went to win four white-ball trophies, revealed that he used bookmakers to ‘sedate’ his feelings.
“I’m delighted to be joining the fantastic team here at Epic Risk Management,” said the former England Under-19’s international. “After an 11-year gambling addiction, I’ve found the process of admitting to my problem and opening up about my experience a liberating one.
“I spent years in fear of opening up and I’m passionate to help others to speak out sooner, to seek help, and ultimately, look at ways to educate others to not get to the point I did with such a harmful addiction
“I have been aware of the work Epic have done, via the fantastic work they have done with PCA, and I’m excited to be joining an organisation who passionately work to take the problem out of gambling through education, using our own lived experience and providing advice and support.
“Personally, this provides me with the opportunity to enhance my recovery, working alongside some brilliant people. I’m very much looking forward to contributing.”
Wood will look to tell his story and experiences at Epic Risk Management to help others avoid the same path, collaborating with numerous professional sports teams around the UK.
Paul Buck, CEO at Epic Risk Management said: “This is a very significant addition to the team at Epic Risk Management.
“Chris has carved out a highly successful career as a professional sportsman, winning some of the highest honours domestic cricket can offer and yet, has done so whilst battling a gambling addiction.
“We want to make athletes aware of the potentially destructive financial implications and health issues that out-of-control gambling can cause. To equip them with the knowledge and tools for them to make well-informed decisions, reducing distraction and maximising performance.
“To have an athlete of Chris’ standing, ability, and lived experience bringing this message to life can enhance our work, work that we passionately believe can save lives. It’s a real coup for us and for the work in reducing gambling-related harm.”
We’re delighted to announce @CWoody27 has joined @epicpgc as a Pro-Sport Facilitator. Chris recently opened up about his 11-year gambling addiction, which he has battled throughout a successful career. Welcome to the team ?
— EPIC Risk Management (@epicpgc) November 4, 2020