Rugby stars to help in domestic violence campaign
Hurricanes rugby players will visit Vanuatu in November to spread anti-domestic violence message.
The Hurricanes rugby franchise will visit Vanuatu in November to spread the word against domestic violence.
The Hurricanes personnel development manager is in Port Vila meet non-government organisations and education leaders as part of the lead-up work.
Steve Symonds spoke to our correspondent in Vanuatu, Hilaire Bule.
STEVE SYMONDS: In November we will bring up some sporting stars from New Zealand, mainly rugby based, to help promote the messages around domestic violence and safe homes. So we're just meeting with the right people to make sure we get a good programme in place so that we can have an impact when we come back to Vanuatu. We've met with the D.G of Justice, we've met with representatives from other NGOs. We've obviously met with education and schools just really feeling the way and trying to understand how we can make it work when we're here. We've been led by the High Commission of New Zealand who have extremely good contacts and relationships with the government entities of Vanuatu.
HILAIRE BULE: Some teachers were raising up the problem about using marijuana in the school and also skipping classes. What will be your main message?
SS: "The boys are really good at talking about what they have to put up with in rugby and the disciplines they have to have, the self-discipline, self-leadership. Drugs can't work with sport. Drugs in society are something that we should be pushing back on an individual basis as well. My role in rugby is to grow great men, not just great rugby players, give them a life and opportunity after rugby. So things like being well-groomed, being well-disciplined, staying away from those risk factors is something we educate on and something that my educated young men that come here will educate on as well.
HB: You will teach them to play rugby?
SS: Yes. We'll run a few skill sessions and see how good they are. The island communities are generally very good at rugby. They're very skillful, they're very fast so we'll be in here doing a few skills clinics as well as delivering some of those key messages. It will be a lot of fun when we're here.
HB: You've already go to other countries in the Pacific?
SS: This is the first time in Vanuatu but we've been to Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands and Guam with this programme. It gets adapted a little bit depending on the local leads, that is why it was good meeting with the teachers this morning and principals this morning to get an idea of what's important here. But yeah the first time in Vanuatu for this particular programme for us.
HB: What is the impact of this programme?
SS: The feedback we've had is very positive. There are two things that happen. We generate a lot of excitement which allows the delivery of key messages. That allows the message in the country to be delivered around domestic violence and the need to not abuse in the home. What it does for our young men though is that it actually grows them as well. They come back to New Zealand and they start to impact their own families and their own communities. One of the interesting statistics that often happens after our trips is the reporting of domestic violence goes up which is actually what we want initially. We want to have an impact we can see. So pretty positive on all fronts but in terms of my men, I haven't had one player out of the sixty we've taken that it hasn't had a profound impact on.
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