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Strong warning to sideline bullies

Strong warning to sideline bullies

Rugby League Northland is sending out a strong message that sideline abuse is not OK!

RLN has declared war on spectator bullies, and provided other sporting bodies in the northern region and throughout the country with a valuable resource in that battle.

The "Don't be an egg!" campaign launch coincided with a Northland presentation of NZRL's "Playbook" strategic plan, which prescribes the sport's pathway over the next four years.

Working with the Ministry of Social Development and the "It's not OK!" programme, RLN general manager Alex Smits insists his organisation has an important part to play in preventing domestic violence.

"We've all seen examples of bad behaviour on our sidelines, whether it's from participants in the game or over-zealous supporters," says Smits.

"It spoils the experience for everyone and can be symptomatic of other behavioural problems at home. We hope that reducing the sideline niggle will also serve a purpose in the bigger picture."

To draw attention to the problem, Rugby League Northland has produced the "Don't be an egg!" video that draws attention to how a parent's outbursts can affect others attending a local game.

While the example is set around a league fixture, the message is just as relevant to other sports and Smits hopes Sport Northland can also use the footage.

"This concept fits right into NZ Rugby League's 'more than just a game' philosophy and one of our goals is to help make our community a better place to live in," he says.

"We are proud to have been involved in the development of the 'Don't be an egg!' DVD in partnership with Rugby League Northland," says "It's not OK!" campaign manager Trish Green.

"Poor side-line behaviour is a form of violence. Violence is not OK anywhere - on the field, on the sideline or at home - and it's good to see this message being delivered effectively by Rugby League Northland.

"Our hope is that the DVD will increase understanding about violence, encourage people to talk about it and in this way, make it easier for people to get help if they are affected," she says.

View the "Don't be an egg!" video here


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