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Byron Shire
June 2, 2023

Titans tackling bullying in our schools

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The Byron Shire was invaded by Titans yesterday and they had their eye on bullies. As part of the NRL’s annual Community Carnival, players from the Gold Coast Titans and other NRL stars from across the country are taking part in rugby league’s powerful new anti-bullying program, ‘Tackle Bullying’. In a sweep of the nation, the NRL plans to deliver the program to a record of more than 120,000 students across Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa this month as a part of a game-wide campaign.


The iSelect Gold Coast Titans kicked off day two of the NRL Community Carnival yesterday with a visit to nine schools in the area including The Pocket Public, Mullum High, Byron Primary, Byron High, Mullum Christian School, Brunswick Heads Public, St Finbarr’s, St Johns Mullumbimby and Byron Community School.

While at The Pocket, Titans stars Luke O’Dwyer and David Mead spoke to students about the NRL’s anti-bullying campaign, and were thrilled to be sending such an important message to students. ‘It’s great, I think the NRL is doing a great initiative doing the tackle bullying campaign,’ said O’Dwyer. ‘I think it’s great to come out to the schools and put that forward to the kids and I think they are taking it with two hands.’

Winger David Mead said they enjoy coming out to the schools. ‘The kids love what we do and we love coming out here and passing on the messages,’ he said. ‘We’re in a good position to get the important messages out and the kids listen to us, which is a good thing.’

Kicking off last week as children returned to school, the 2013 program will deliver important lessons on the effects of bullying and the importance of building positive self-esteem through a powerful DVD and other resources.

The NRL’s Shane Mattiske said the 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 per cent) Australian students (Years 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,’ said Mr Mattiske. ‘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.’

As part of the program, players will 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.


For more information on Tackle Bullying, visit the NRL website: www.nrl.com.


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