Jeff Horn to visit Rocky to help fix bullying problem
THE biggest name in Australian boxing Jeff Horn has been recruited to lend his support to an anti-bullying event in Rockhampton next month.
A victim of bullying in his formative years, it was that painful experience which drove Mr Horn to become a world-class boxer and take up a career in teaching, doing what he could to address the scourge of bullying.
The champion boxer’s visit to the Rocky Sports Club for an anti-bullying night on October 10 comes at the invitation of One Nation’s candidate for Rockhampton Torin O’Brien.
During the state election campaign, Mr O’Brien has been outspoken in highlighting the issue of bullying in the region’s schools, calling on politicians to do more and encouraging the community to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough.
With statistics revealing one in four kids were being bullied in Australian schools, Mr O’Brien, a Commonwealth Muay Thai champion, said he was joining forces with world-renowned boxing champions Mr Horn and WBC champion Charlie Hall in a successful bullying prevention campaign run by Bullyproof Australia and AMAYDA.
He said principals, teachers, P&C members, parents, and the public were all encouraged to attend the event.
“The plan is to engage with the community and embrace a holistic approach to fixing this growing problem of bullying,” Mr O’Brien said.
“I’ve spoken to countless parents across Rockhampton who are at their wit’s end trying to protect their children from bullying.
“Some of these cases are ending up in the emergency ward at the Rockhampton Hospital.”
Mr O’Brien said kids shouldn’t fear going to school.
“I’m fielding calls from parents whose kids have been suspended for finally standing up to a bully after the schools have turned a blind eye to the chaos that’s being caused in playgrounds and classrooms,” he said.
“I blame the state government for making it difficult for teachers to discipline students and I’m of the view school sizes are getting too big to handle,” Mr O’Brien said.
Bullyproof Australia and AMAYDA’s anti-bullying school programs combine physical training with core values in martial arts while teaching children respect, courage, integrity, and resilience when faced with adversity.
Mr O’Brien said more than 42 schools had invested in the non-government-funded organisation that has helped more than 2000 students deal with the issue of bullying.
“Knowing this program has worked in schools (in south east Queensland) like Browns Plains and Shailer Park gives me confidence that the program will resonate with students and teachers here in Central Queensland,” he said.
The event will take place on Saturday, October 10 from 1pm at the Rocky Sports Club.
A limit of 100 tickets will be available online through Eventbrite when the final details are finalised.