Waiariki Purea’s Bully Free Bro initiative is gaining momentum. BFB was invited by Sport BOP as one of the 6 teams, giving 20 minute presentations to groups over the day at the Bay Steamers Open Training Day at the Rotorua’s International Stadium.
More than 600 primary school children had the opportunity to listen to what it means to be a a Bully Free Bro.
The Steamers stood alongside Te Waiariki Purea Trust and helped to answer students’ questions while sharing their own personal experiences.
BFB co-ordinator, Warren Tumarae told the Rotorua Daily Post that it was important role models such as the Steamers were on board. The students were divided into groups of about 100 and were shown through the locker rooms, corporate areas and on to the field.
“They [Steamers] play a big part to help open the door and get the message out,” Mr Tumarae said.
“We’ve been working within the schools but this is the first session we’ve done with the Steamers.”
The ‘Bully Free Bro’ mascot also took part and handed out players cards, rugby balls, drink bottles and beanies.
Mr Tumarae said the antibullying programme had been in Rotorua district schools for three months and already there were signs that it was making a difference.
“The children have started recognising us as the Bully Free Bro and once they understand what the brand is we can start to cement a way forward and build strategies so there is a community push at the grassroots level.”