TAMWORTH High School will tackle male violence against women head-on today to show its support for White Ribbon Day.
White Ribbon is a not-for-profit organisation which encourages thousands of men and boys to be the faces and leaders of an anti-violence campaign by living the White Ribbon oath: never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.
For the past three years the school has taken part in the initiative, facing off against local high school rivals in an annual White Ribbon Day rugby league exhibition match.
Last year the school enjoyed a narrow 26 to 20 victory over Oxley High School, while this year Tamworth High will take on Peel High School with the assistance of the Parry School.
Tamworth High’s Jackson O’Brien said the match was a great way for he and his mates to show their dedication to the cause and also get others to heed the message.
“The game helps to promote through our community that violence isn’t tolerated in our homes,” the Year 10 student said.
The school celebrated its White Ribbon Day campaign launch late last week with a barbecue and commemorative shirt presentation.
But the boys involved don’t just showcase their expertise on the footy field, they also pound the pavement drumming up monetary support and prize donations for the charity and spend time discussing the importance of the campaign with local primary school kids and their fellow peers.
Tamworth High’s Mitchell Lane said he decided to get involved to assist the charity and improve his leadership skills.
“We’ve been getting out and asking shops if they could give us funding for White Ribbon Day and offering them to get their names on our shirts,” he said.
“We have also gone around to a number of schools and asked if they will watch us play to get the message out a bit more.”
White Ribbon Day is celebrated annually on November 25, but due to the sweltering conditions players experienced last year, this year’s game has been brought forward.
Wests will once again host the event though, which begins with a curtain-raiser match between the under 14s side at noon before the under 16s boys go head-to-head at 1pm.
There will be a guessing competition, barbecue and a gold coin donation to enter the grounds.
Kate McCrohon, a head teacher at Tamworth High, said it was fantastic to see the boys’ hard work come to fruition.
“To get the message out to boys and then for them to share the message is important,” she said.
“It’s great for them to have their voices heard.”