Free rugby tickets support 'Blow the Whistle on Violence' campaign

Monday 8 August 2011, 2:45PM
By Rotorua District Council


Treasure Rotorua, Rotorua Safe Families and Bay of Plenty Rugby Union are giving away 2,400 tickets to the Bay of Plenty vs Hawkes Bay rugby match in Rotorua this week to help promote the Blow the Whistle on Violence campaign in Rotorua.

Blow the Whistle on Violence is a national family violence campaign that will use familiar rugby expressions, such as After Match Function and Tight Five, on promotional material to endorse anti-violence messages to coincide with the rugby season. The main objective is to encourage people to disclose family violence incidents, and to seek help and support.

A number of high profile sports ambassadors are supporting the programme including Ruben Wiki, Liam Messam and Richard Kahui. Bay of Plenty Steamers player Dan Waenga is the Rotorua ambassador for the campaign.

Rotorua Safe Families coordinator Ariana Smith says research shows a negative relationship between large sporting events and increased consumption of alcohol, resulting in increased reporting of family violence. Because of this the groups are keen to promote anti-violence messages throughout the community.

Ms Smith says local rugby clubs have been encouraged to support the campaign by distributing Blow the Whistle resources amongst their teams, and local schools will also invited to come on board.

“We are giving away tickets to the match on 13 August because we want local families to come along to show that our community supports the Blow the Whistle on Violence campaign.

“We also have some great goodie packs to give away to teams, containing Blow the Whistle on Violence whistles, posters and drink coasters, Treasure Rotorua drink bottles, and rugby merchandise for player-of-the-day prizes.”

Rotorua District Council community safety projects officer Amy Duckett says Treasure Rotorua is looking forward to getting behind the campaign.

“To help promote the launch at the game on Saturday we’re giving away 200 match tickets through our Treasure Rotorua Facebook page. To be in to win tickets, people need to go to our Facebook page and ‘like’ Treasure Rotorua. Everyone who ‘likes’ the page by Wednesday 10 August will go into a draw to win two tickets to the match.”

Waikite Rugby Club is the first local club to come on board with the campaign and club president Tony Kahukiwa says it is a great opportunity to promote ‘whanau ora’ and anti-violence messages to young people and their whanau.

“It’s awesome that these resources have been made available for us, and our kids will love the whistles and other prizes on offer.”

Local rugby teams are invited to attend a Blow the Whistle on Violence meeting at the Waikite Rugby Club on Bellvue Rd on Wednesday 10 August at 5.30pm for further information and resources.