NRL players to deliver anti-bullying message to CQ children
RUGBY LEAGUE: Eight NRL stars will touch down in Rockhampton tomorrow to deliver rugby league's powerful new anti-bullying message to Central Queensland students.
As a part of the Community Carnival, four players from the Cantebury Bulldogs will tour schools around Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast, while four players from the Brisbane Broncos will visit Callide students.
As children return to schools across the country, the 2013 Community Carnival will deliver important lessons through a DVD and other resources to more than 120,000 students throughout Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa on the effects of bullying and the importance of building positive self-esteem.
Players will also deliver 25,000 anti-bullying banner pens, 10,000 water bottles, 3200 bags, pencil cases and stationery sets, 30,000 wrist bands and 150,000 player and ambassador cards during the community initiative which is unrivalled in Australian sport.
NRL interim chief executive Shane Mattiske said rugby league's 12th annual Community Carnival was the perfect platform from which to launch the NRL's "Tackle Bullying" movement with the most recent Australian Government study into bullying revealing one in four (27%) Australian students (Year 4-9) are bullied frequently.
"Community Carnival is a special time of year where a huge contingent of players travel far and wide to visit those areas that don't usually get the chance to come face to face with NRL players," Mattiske said.
"This year's Tackle Bullying message is an important one, with the effects of bullying well documented in the media.
"We know from experience that students listen when NRL players visit the classroom and if our players can help provide them with some tools to combat bullying then hopefully we can make a positive difference to their lives."
The NRL's community programs were internationally recognised in 2012 with rugby league named the International Governing Body of the Year at the esteemed Beyond Sport Awards in London.
Community Ambassadors Andrew Ryan, Hazem El Masri, Mario Fenech and Nathan Hindmarsh feature in the DVD the NRL has produced to help students tackle bullying.
The DVD forms part of a number of resources that also include in-class activity books and teacher packs.
An activity the NRL players will use during the Community Carnival is the "drop-a-note box" which involves classmates writing anonymous positive message about their fellow students, to build self-esteem and self-confidence.
Bulldogs coach Des Hasler has used the "drop-a-note box" with his players in recentyears, during which his Bulldogs and Sea Eagles teams have played in four of the past six grand finals, winning two.
"It is simple but powerful and I have seen the benefits an activity like that has in helping to build an individual's self-esteem and self-confidence," Hasler said.
"It is amazing what people can achieve through positive affirmation and having our NRL players deliver that message is also a powerful tool. Bullying can occur in so many forms and at so many levels. There is no place for bullies, on or off the football field."
Canterbury Bulldogs players will visit Rockhampton and Capricorn Coast schools Cresent Lagoon State School, St Joseph Wandal, Allenstown SS, St Peter's, Park Avenue SS, St Joseph's Park Avenue, Glenmore SS, St Benedict's, Farborough, Emu Park SS, Sacred Heart, Taranganba SS, Yeppoon SHS, Yeppoon SS, Frenchville SS, St Anthony's, Mount Archer SS and Saint Mary's over the next three days, as well as running two clinics at Browne Park and Webb Oval.
Brisbane Broncos players will visit Wadja Wadja High, Woorabinda SS, Baralaba SS, Banana SS, Theodore SS, Moura SHS, Prospect Creek SS, Biloela SS, St Jospeh's Biloela, Thangool SS, Mt Murchison SS, Redeemer and Biloela SHS and host clinics at Biloela and Moura Juniors.