Rabbitohs Heading South for 2013 Community Carnival
Thursday 24 January 2013 12:01 PM
The South Sydney Rabbitohs will be heading to the Riverina region of New South Wales for the 2013 NRL Community Carnival, with a focus on anti-bullying, it was announced today.
The Rabbitohs will visit 32 schools and over 8,000 students during their trip to the Riverina in February.
NRL stars will deliver Rugby League's powerful new anti-bullying message to a record of more than 120,000 students across Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa next month as a part of a game-wide campaign announced today.
NRL Interim Chief Executive, Mr Shane Mattiske, today joined General Manager of Community, Culture and Diversity, Ms Trish Crews, and media personality and Rugby League fan, Ms Charlotte Dawson, to officially launch this year’s Community Carnival which will focus on the NRL’s ‘Tackle Bullying’ campaign.
NRL players David Williams (Sea Eagles), John Morris (Sharks), Kaysa Pritchard (Eels) and Josh Mansour (Panthers) were also at today’s launch and they will be among more than 350 players from all 16 NRL Clubs who will travel more than 40,000km across four countries during the 28 days of the Community Carnival.
Kicking off next week (January 31) as children return to school across the country, the 2013 Community Carnival will deliver important lessons on the effects of bullying and the importance of building positive self-esteem through a powerful DVD and other resources.
Players will also deliver 25,000 anti-bullying banner pens, 10,000 water bottles, 3,200 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.
Mr Mattiske said Rugby League’s 12th annual Community Carnival is the ideal platform for launching the NRL’s ‘Tackle Bullying’ campaign 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,” Mr 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 game’s community programs were internationally recognised last year with Rugby League named the International Governing Body of the Year at the prestigious Beyond Sport Awards in London.
One 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.
Ms Charlotte Dawson, who is involved with an anti-cyber-bullying initiative, has endorsed the NRL’s campaign which kicks off in schools next week.
“This is an issue that is very close to my heart and something that I feel extremely passionate about,” said Ms Dawson.
“If students are equipped with the skills to deal with bullying from a young age, as well as being taught the harmful effects that bullying can have, hopefully one day every student will feel safe at school and online.
“I believe the most important lesson in dealing with bullying is to speak out against it and that is exactly what the NRL is encouraging students to do.”
The NRL has had previous experience working in the area of anti-bullying with NRL Player Welfare and Education Programs Manager and former player, Mr Nigel Vagana, working with the Australian Federal Police to deliver a cyber-bullying program in Tonga and Samoa over the past two years.
Samoa will be the starting point of Rugby League’s 2013 Community Carnival next Thursday (January 31) with Warriors players visiting schools and the local community.
Other locations that will embrace 2013 Community Carnival celebrations include Mount Isa and Cairns in Queensland; Dubbo and Merimbula in New South Wales; and Geelong in Victoria.
One activity the NRL players will facilitate throughout Community Carnival is ‘drop-a-note box’, which sees classmates write anonymous positive affirmations about their fellow students, with the goal to build self-esteem and self-confidence.
The ‘drop-a-note box’ activity has been used by Bulldogs coach Des Hasler on his players in recent years, during which time his teams (Bulldogs and Sea Eagles) 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,” said Hasler.
“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.”
About the NRL’s 2013 Community Carnival
• As part of the NRL’s 2013 Community Carnival, players from all 16 clubs will travel more than 40,000km to visit more than 500 schools (both primary and secondary) across Australia, New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga to deliver anti-bullying messages.
• This is the 12th year of Community Carnival, with the focus this year on the NRL’s ‘Tackle Bullying’ campaign.
• Over a month of activities (from January 31 to February 27), the Community Carnival will see NRL players and Ambassadors take part in a broad range of community visits, including speaking with students at school, visiting hospitals and conducting Junior Rugby League clinics.
• NRL players and Ambassadors will reach a record of more than 120,000 students and visit more than 180 towns across the Community Carnival period.
• A snapshot of the locations that will be visited as part of the 2013 Community Carnival include:
o The Cowboys will travel 900km west to Mount Isa
o The northernmost location is Cairns (Dragons)
o The westernmost location in NSW is Dubbo (Roosters)
o The southernmost location nationally is Geelong, in Melbourne (Storm)
o Internationally, Samoa is the furthest any club will travel (Warriors).
• This annual event is part of Rugby League’s commitment to making a positive difference in the community and speaking out on issues of social significance.
• The game’s community programs were internationally recognised last year with Rugby League named the International Governing Body of the Year at the prestigious Beyond Sport Awards in London.
Selected Highlights from the 2013 Community Carnival Schedule
Broncos - The Broncos will send some of their star players to Callide (near Rockhampton) and South-West Queensland (Toowoomba) to visit regional schools.
Bulldogs - The Bulldogs will venture far beyond their home ground of Belmore, travelling 1,400km to Rockhampton QLD to visit students across 18 schools.
Cowboys - The Cowboys will travel nine hours west of Townsville to visit remote towns throughout Mount Isa, with players including Tariq Sims visiting schools that rarely get to see their NRL idols.
Dragons - The Dragons will travel 2,400km to Cairns in North Queensland.
Eels - Travelling south, the Eels will visit the Shoalhaven region over three days and visit almost 30 schools.
Knights - The Knights will visit both the coastal region of Coffs Harbour and the inland town of Tamworth.
Panthers - The full Panthers squad will see almost 40 schools over two days in Bathurst and Orange, visiting more than 12,000 students.
Rabbitohs - The Rabbitohs will see 32 schools and 8,000 students throughout their three-day visit across the Riverina (NSW).
Raiders - Raiders players will head to the South Coast (Merimbula, Cooma, Jindabyne) to visit 4,600 students in two days.
Roosters - The Roosters will head west to Condobolin, visiting 14 schools and 5,000 students in two days.
Sea Eagles - The Sea Eagles will see 3,000 children in the north-west of New South Wales, running Junior Rugby league clinics, visiting schools, a hospital and a PCYC.
Sharks - Todd Carney will join several of his Sharks teammates in a visit to Tamworth where they will see 2,400 students across nine schools.
Storm - The Melbourne club will travel five hours north-west to Mildura, in order to conduct a skills clinic involving 400 students from eight schools.
Titans - Titans co-captain Nate Myles will join several teammates in visits across the Northern Rivers region.
Warriors - The Warriors will make a special visit to Tonga and Samoa to visit schools and conduct skills clinics.
Wests Tigers - More than 5000 students in the Southern Highlands will be visited by the Wests Tigers over two days.
About the 2013 Community Carnival Message – the NRL ‘Tackle Bullying’ campaign
• Players and Ambassadors will speak with students to help them to:
o Identify what bullying is and when someone is being bullied.
o Know who to talk to if they are being bullied.
o Learn how to prevent further incidences of bullying.
• The NRL has produced a ‘Tackle Bullying’ DVD featuring NRL legends Andrew Ryan, Nathan Hindmarsh, Hazem El Masri and Mario Fenech which empowers students to stand up for themselves and others who are being bullied. The DVD will be played at each classroom visit to inspire students to take action.
• The players will encourage students to ‘drop a note’ in a special box, giving them a chance to write something positive about their class mates anonymously.
• Over the month-long period of Community Carnival, NRL players will distribute anti-bullying resources such as 30,000 anti-bullying wristbands, 25,000 anti-bullying banner pens, 5,000 booklets and 5,000 DVDs.
Key Messages and Facts on Bullying
• One in four Australian children are bullied frequently.
• Traditional bullying is known to be physically punching/kicking someone or openly teasing them in front of peers.
• More covert, or hidden, bullying is on the rise. Covert bullying can include:
o Whispering behind the teacher’s back and note passing
o Social exclusion and rumour spreading
o Cyber bullying (e.g. tormenting someone via SMS, social media or email)
o Repeated hang-up calls
o Publishing someone's personal or embarrassing information online
o Cyber bullying: new technologies and the culture of increased communication have given way to an additional platform for bullying to take place. Cyber bullying is not only more difficult for schools and parents to detect, but also has the capacity to inflict social isolation and ridicule on a much broader scale than traditional bullying.