The Parramatta District Rugby League Referees Association have partnered with the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation to promote the "Stay Kind" initiative.
Parramatta Referees jerseys will now feature the Stay Kind logo as both a sign of our commitment to the initiative but also as a reminder to us all that every one of us can make a positive difference in our community.
Stay Kind aims to foster social and cultural change through community values of caring for each other and mutual respect. It encourages people to provide a supportive community environment for those that suffer in silence, and discourages persecution of people within our communities.
Young people may find themselves overwhelmed by life or by others, and be unable to speak out. Suicide rates amongst Australian youth are increasing. We are experiencing significant changes in social values, behaviours and respect shown to others. Social media platforms are one example of this change in social values.
Parramatta Referees President, Darren Rickersey said, "We are genuinely excited to be able to align ourselves with the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation and in particular the "Stay Kind" initiative. The principles and values espoused by "Stay Kind" are ones that we endeavour to instil in all our members and we will wear the "Stay Kind" logo with pride on-field. Most of our referees are young people and providing a caring, supportive and respectful environment is something we continually strive for.
Our association with the "Stay Kind" initiative assists us in having these important conversations within our Association and the broader community we operate in."
Ralph Kelly, Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation CEO said, "Stay Kind" is an important community value that should really be a given in terms of how we behave as individuals towards others. It doesn't matter if we are playing sport, in a school, at work or in the general community - empathy, compassion and understanding should be at the forefront of our values. You can never know how an individual may be feeling."
"Parramatta Eels is one of the professional clubs leading this initiative in sport and, together with West's Tigers, has partnered with us for Stay Kind Day. The Eels have shown their commitment and leadership to this important community value by also encouraging the Stay Kind logo for the referees. We are really pleased that the Parramatta District Rugby League Referees Association is leading this initiative in community sport, by being the first community sporting code organisation to adopt this important messaging."
Bernie Gurr, CEO Parramatta Eels said, "Whilst we are a part of our local community we also strive to lead and support a Rugby League family that is both caring and inclusive. The Parramatta Eels recognise the importance of community values within our game and support a culture of caring for each other. "Stay Kind" is a very important community message and the Parramatta Eels are more than happy to promote this initiative to the Parramatta District Rugby League Referees Association."
"Stay Kind" Day will be held at ANZ Stadium on Sunday 23 July,2017 where the Wests Tigers v Parramatta Eels.
For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. If life is in immediate danger call 000.
For further information, please visit http://staykind.org.au/