A serious message
Wednesday, 9th May, 2012
By Darrin Manuel
Rugby League legend David Peachey paid a visit to Willyama High School yesterday but there was more than just fun and games on the agenda.
Peachey’s visit came as part of the The NSW Office of Communities’ “Tackling Violence” program, which uses rugby as a vehicle to encourage men to end domestic violence.
The former Cronulla and Rabbitohs star was joined by Dixie Link-Gordon of the Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Women’s Corporation in educating kids on a difficult topic.
The duo held a seminar with students from year 7 through to year 9.
“It’s pretty tough and it’s daunting - it’s reality and it’s in our back yard,” said Peachey.
“It’s about real life actions that that can change the course of people’s lives.
“We’re just trying to plant the seed about healthy relationships, and to look for the warning signs if a relationship is heading down the wrong path.
“It’s really impotant to educate the kids. I mean, I use myself as an example - none of this stuff was ever taught to us.”
PD/H/PE teacher Scott Shephard said the session appeared to have had a positive impact on the students.
“He had a really strong message about caring and responsible relationships, and the students responded to it really well,” said Shephard.
“As David said, if it only gets through to even one person and they take the message home and it saves a life one day or helps in a situation, then that’s great.”
After the seminar the kids took to the oval for a skills session hosted by Peachey and Counry Rugby League Development Officer, Graham Valentine.
Peachey said AFL’s strong hold on the city was evident throughout the session, but was enjoyed by all involved.
“There’s been a few forward passes and the kids are wanting to kick the ball all the time,” he laughed.
“You’re basically teaching them something they really don’t hear too much about, but it’s been a bit of fun.
“And all the stuff we’re doing here is the same as what all the big Rugby League clubs do.
“A lot of kids think NRL clubs do these magical things but it’s all about the basics and being able to do them when called upon in game.
“Just the little things like handling and passing are part and parcel of being a professional. It’s about really knowing your craft.”