Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Legends Impart Life Lessons

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Legends Impart Life Lessons

Article excerpt

Byline: Joel Gould

BULLYING and the inappropriate use of social media is rife in society but the legends of rugby league are doing their bit in Ipswich to warn students of the pitfalls.

Former first grade stars Nathan Blacklock, Mark Tookey and Craig Teevan spoke to the students at Ipswich State High as part of the Legends of League visit to Ipswich this week, which will culminate in a match between an all-star Australian line-up and Ipswich greats on Saturday night.

The students were told that what they place on social media lasts for ever and to think long and hard before they make posts, because unwise posts can come back to bite them later in life when applying for jobs.

They were also reminded that words can hurt and to be mindful before speaking harshly or making bullying social media posts that can have a devastating impact on the recipients

Former Dragons flyer Nathan Blacklock works in suicide prevention programs in northern NSW.

He said combating bullying was now an issue which had to be tackled.

"It is taken to another level now because you have young kids committing suicide over it," he said.

"It is one thing you don't want to see happen because that kid is somebody's daughter, son, brother or sister.

"To fix these issues we have to get into schools and talk to the young kids themselves.

"If we can get them to think about what they say, and the impact of it before saying it, it will change the way they speak to people especially with social media.

"Words can hurt."

Blacklock said the youth were the future and they should not be afraid of setting high goals.

He encouraged all young people to encourage each other when they do something worthwhile and not tear each other down.

"You see young kids doing something good for themselves and then being bullied and ridiculed for it," he said. …

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