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NRL greats act to tackle bullying

NRL greats act to tackle bullying
Recently retired NRL stars Danny Buderus, Scott Prince, Ben Ross, Dallas Johnson, Joe Galuvao, Anthony Quinn and Matt King will join with fellow ambassadors and current stars from all 16 NRL Clubs in a Rugby League initiative which aims to educate up to 300,000 school children in a month on how to "tackle bullying" issues.

The newly appointed ambassadors are part of a 24-man team led by NRL Tackle Bullying spokesmen Nathan Hindmarsh and Matt Cooper who will work alongside clubs throughout the month-long 2014 Community Carnival which kicks off on Wednesday, January 29, when the Dragons visit schools in Kiama and ends in Perth at the end of February. 

Widely recognised as the largest community initiative in Australian sport, Ambassadors and players will use new educational resources developed by the NRL in conjunction with the Australian Catholic University (ACU) and aimed at children, teachers and parents to help empower students to cope with difficult social situations. 

All Ambassadors have also received formal training by leading psychologist Dr Elizabeth Seely-Wait, who helped develop the resources, to be released next week for the first time.

"We're all eager to use the resources and knowledge from last week's training to empower children across the country to stand up for themselves and their peers," said Cooper.

"It's time we saw bullying eradicated in Australian schools and all of the NRL's One Community Ambassadors are behind making this goal happen."

The annual event, which last year saw NRL players and Ambassadors visit 203,400 children at 840 schools across 358 towns, is part of Rugby League's commitment to making a positive difference in the community and speaking out on issues of social significance.

"The NRL is in a unique position to make a positive social difference," said NRL Community, Culture and Diversity Interim General Manager, Mr Mark Deweerd. 

"We hope to give children the confidence and knowledge to cope with bullying and its effects through the powerful vehicle of Rugby League." 

A key resource of the anti-bullying program is the NRL's "Tackle Bullying Green Hand", a five-fingered action plan aimed at helping victims to cope and stand up to bullying.

The certified action plan involves the following proactive strategies: 
1. Stand Strong
2. Stay Calm
3. Respond Confidently 
4. Walk Away
5. Report 

The resource will be distributed throughout the Community Carnival and children are encouraged to contact the Kids Helpline 1800 551 800 if they are finding it difficult to cope and need further support. 

Follow the NRL's 2014 Community Carnival action 
Follow all of the amazing community work achieved by players, Ambassadors, children, teachers and parents throughout the Community Carnival by logging on to nrl.com/CommunityCarnival

Share your own stories and experiences with bullying on the NRL and The Daily Telegraph's Hope Wall at http://bit.ly/TackleBullying

Give a hand to Tackle Bullying: Pledge your support to Tackle Bullying by posting a picture of your hand painted green or holding the NRL's 'Green Tackle Bullying Hand' on your social media networks including Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #TackleBullying
 
All images will be added to the NRL Community Carnival blog nrl.com/CommunityCarnival

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