Mario Fenech,, NRL.com
Over the past month NRL players and Ambassadors have visited more than 200,000 kids, travelled 50,000 kilometres and visited four countries across 27 days – to deliver one key message: Tackle Bullying.
In its 12th year Community Carnival saw NRL players and Ambassadors take part in a broad range of community visits, including speaking with students at schools, visiting hospitals and conducting Junior Rugby League clinics. The 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.
Throughout a hectic month, Petero Civoniceva, Nathan Hindmarsh and I visited Mackay and Hervey Bay in Queensland and also helped out with our clubs’ local visits. Together we visited more than 25 schools and saw thousands of excited kids.
During my time as an Ambassador I have seen how Community Carnival helps brings people together from all over the country and also the large positive impact it has on the community. This year players have visited 358 towns and 840 schools to deliver Rugby League’s powerful new ‘Tackle Bullying’ program.
The program is outlined in a DVD featuring myself and other One Community Ambassadors including Nathan Hindmarsh, Hazem El Masri and Andrew Ryan, who all urge students to support their classmates and to stand up to bullying.
I believe the program has had a massive effect on the kids we have seen – I look at the kids’ faces when they are watching the DVD and you can see them think, “Hang on a minute... I get bullied, or I am the bully; what should I do about this?” The kids look up to the players and listen to what they say, which really helps empower them to stand up for themselves or their friends who are being bullied.
We spoke to the kids about how to identify what bullying is; or if someone is being bullied, who they should talk; and also discussed how to prevent further incidences of bullying from occurring.
We also conducted a drop-a-note activity, where classmates write positive messages about their peers anonymously and place it in the box for them to read later. Along with this we distributed anti-bullying resources such as wristbands, banner pens, pencil cases, water bottles and bags.
Community Carnival is another great initiative I am proud to be a part of and to see the impact Community Carnival has not only on our fans, but everyone involved, makes me honoured to be associated with this great game.
The NRL, One Community, the clubs and the players do an amazing job each and every week in the community and I’m so proud to be a part of it.
Go the Rabbitohs!