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CBC footy tackling domestic violence

Schools

While they might not be winning every game on the field, Christian Brothers College 1st XVIII football team is leading the game in educating young men about forming respectful relationships and breaking the cycle of domestic violence.

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On July 27 the college hosted a White Ribbon round, with all football players from Year 2 to 1st XVIII taking an oath and honouring a minute’s silence before each game.

Opposing teams from St Ignatius’, Immanuel and Sacred Heart colleges also got involved and joined the CBC players in wearing white ribbons on the day.

Special guests attending the senior game were Grant Pearson from SA’s White Ribbon committee, White Ribbon ambassadors Sarah Craddock and Pam Lacey and Kelly Lavington from SA Police.

CBC football program coordinator Riley Atkinson said the White Ribbon initiative was a way of linking pastoral care with sport.

“This year we said ‘why not use sport as a platform to educate young men’ and I’d like to think we’re changing the game in that regard,” he said.

“We believe that pastorally, in our work off the field, we’re leading the game by doing these kinds of things.”

In the lead up to the White Ribbon round, awareness sessions about domestic violence and forming respectful relationships with women were held for all year levels at the college.

College vice-captain for Faith and 1st XVIII player Campbell Hillock said these sessions had struck a chord with his team mates, as had the “powerful” presentation by Grant Pearson prior to the senior game.

“Grant used the example of ‘playing like a girl’ and locker room banter that occurs and said that we needed to get rid of that,” he said.

“He was really bold in saying that violence against women is not acceptable and we all have a role to play. It’s all good to pledge an oath, but it’s actually about living it.”

Even though CBC lost the senior game by 11 points, Riley said the day was a “fantastic success”.

Next year the college hopes to expand the program and host a White Ribbon round that will include all sports.

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