Kick Bullying Into Touch Enters Second Year


During Anti-Bullying Week this year, we’re celebrating the fact that our programme with the NSPCC, Kick Bullying Into Touch, is entering its second year. We’ve had a number of great key impacts so far, including:

Here’s the full press release:

Richard Hill is ‘Kicking Bullying into Touch’

2009’s Anti-Bullying Week sees former Saracens, England, and British and Irish Lions star Richard Hill at Field Junior School in Watford today to run one of the Guinness Premiership club’s ‘Kicking Bullying into Touch’ programmes for school children aged between six and 11 years.

‘Kicking Bullying into Touch’ is a programme created by the 12 Guinness Premiership rugby clubs and ChildLine. The programme uses the appeal of some of rugby’s most well known players to talk to children aged between six and 11 years about bullying.

Richard’s visit to Field Junior School marked the start of the second year of the programme, with over 17,000 children having taken part in the programme in the first year.

Each one of the 12 Guinness Premiership clubs nominates a dedicated anti-bullying ambassador, with players like Saracens and England captain Steve Borthwick, Sale Sharks’ Andrew Sheridan, London Wasps’ Paul Sackey and Harlequins’ Ugo Monye taking part.

The ambassadors from all 12 clubs are featured in a DVD and a z-card distributed to the children as part of the programme, which is then delivered in schools by club players. A survey of children who had taken part in the programme showed over 97% of children had a better understanding of the different forms of bullying.

The link with rugby has been a valuable one, with the programme particularly targeted at young boys, a group that often struggles to talk about bullying.

Saracens’ Foundation Director Richard Hill said, “I am really pleased to be at Field Junior School today to start the second year of the ‘Kicking Bullying into Touch’ programme.

“The partnership has been a hugely successful one across the Premiership, with the programme delivered in 360 schools in the first year of the programme and 420 targeted for this second year. For our part, I am proud to say that Saracens will be delivering the programme in 30 schools in our area.

“The figures from a survey we did reveal that 97% of the children who have been through the programme have a better understanding of the different forms of bullying, showing that the clubs and players have made a real difference. We’re all really proud of that across the league.”

NSPCC head of child protection awareness Chris Cloke said: “Bullying is still the number one problem that children call ChildLine about, accounting for 17 per cent of all children counselled by the helpline last year. That’s why innovative schemes like ‘Kicking Bullying into Touch’ are so important to help reinforce the message that bullying is wrong.”

The partnership between the Guinness Premiership clubs and ChildLine was launched at the start of national Anti-Bullying Week last year and marked the beginning of a wider awareness-raising and fundraising partnership between the two parties.

As part of the programme, the Guinness Premiership dedicates a round of matches to ChildLine in April to raise awareness and funds for ChildLine.

Schools Minister Vernon Coaker said, “Bullying, in any form, should not be tolerated – it can destroy lives and have a lasting impact on young people’s confidence, self-esteem and emotional development. At the start of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week, I’m delighted to be able to support the NSPCC and Premier Rugby as they continue the successful programme ‘Kicking Bullying into Touch’. Now in its second year, they are doing fantastic work reaching out to primary school children through sport, to help raise awareness and tackle the problem of bullying.”

Paul Sackey Kicks Bullying Into Touch for ChildLine

Last week Paul Sackey, a player for London Wasps and England and an NSPCC ambassador, visited Tilehouse Combined School in Denham Green, Uxbridge to meet students and teach them about bullying. The visit was part of PRL and the NSPCC’s Kick Bullying Into Touch programme, which uses tag rugby to teach schoolchildren about bullying, its effects, and how to address it. The programme also promotes the NSPCC’s ChildLine service.

To date the Kick Bullying Into Touch has been introduced to 135 schools, and by the end of the two year pilot PRL community managers will have run the programme in 780 schools reaching 234,000 children.

Said Sackey: “You don’t always agree with your team mates, but you learn to sort out your differences in a respectful manner and make sure no one is bearing grudges as that can ruin your chances. Kids might be surprised to know this, but even some rugby players have been bullied at school. No one should put up with bullying, but you have to deal with it safely, and I hope by going into schools with ChildLine we can all make play our part in tackling bullying.”

You can watch a video of the day on BucksTV here. You can also learn more about the visit on and the London Wasps’s site.

Esther Rantzen on ChildLine and Rugby

Premier Rugby has been working with ChildLine for quite a while now, through ‘Family Forwards’ (a fundraising campaign that raised £6000 this season, enough to answer more than 1500 children’s calls) and the ChildLine / Premier Rugby ‘Kick Bullying Into Touch’ Programme, our anti-bullying mentoring scheme that aims to turn back the tide of bullying in schools.

Founder and president of ChildLine Esther Rantzen attended the Guinness Premiership Final this past weekend, and spoke to us about ChildLine, boys and bullying, ChildLine’s Child’s Voice Appeal and the upcoming ChildLine Rocks concert.

To date, Community Managers from the Guinness Premiership clubs have introduced the ‘Kick Bullying Into Touch’ programme to 135 schools. By the end of the two year pilot, they will have run the programme in 780 schools to reach 234,000 children with anti-bullying messages. Each child will receive an information card with anti bullying messages from a player from each Premiership club including Steve Borthwick, Jonny Wilkinson and Paul Sackey.

You can learn more about the work we’re doing with the NSPCC on their site here.

Family Forwards for ChildLine

On the weekend of April 5/6, Premier Rugby will be supporting ChildLine through its new Family Forwards campaign. The goal is to get families to spend time together during a day out at the rugby, supporting ChildLine in the process.

Jonny Wilkinson lent his support, saying: “My family is really important to me and I always look forward to having time to catch up with each other, relax, and have some fun together. That’s why I’m backing the Guinness Premiership’s Family Forwards campaign to get more families to enjoy a day out at their local Guinness Premiership rugby club.”

Matches that weekend (at Bath Rugby, Leicester Tigers, London Irish, Northampton Saints, Worcester Warriors, and London Wasps) will have family fundraising activities in aid of ChildLine. You can learn more by reading the press release here or visiting ChildLine’s site here.

Kicking Bullying Into Touch Video

Here’s a video featuring some top players in the Guinness Premiership talking about bullying and what to do about it:

It goes with this week’s launch of ‘Kicking Bullying Into Touch,’ a national anti-bullying programme from Premier Rugby and ChildLine/NSPCC.

Esther Rantzen backs anti bullying campaign

We’re launching a new partnership and anti-bullying programme with ChildLine this week, and I’m very excited about it. Here’s a bit from the press release:

Childine Founder and President Esther Rantzen welcomed Premier Rugby’s support for a new anti-bullying programme which will help over quarter of a million children to tackle bullying.

Boys and girls, aged 6 to 11, will take part in ‘Kicking Bullying Into Touch’, which will see each of the 12 Guinness Premiership Clubs and National Division One team Leeds Carnegie taking anti-bullying training into 780 primary schools over the next 18 months.

“As the daughter of a rugby player, the widow of a rugby player, and the mother of a rugby player, I am delighted that Premier Rugby has chosen to work with ChildLine. I hope this partnership will also raise awareness of ChildLine with families and raise the vital funds for our Child’s Voice Appeal so that 500,000 more children every year will be counselled by ChildLine volunteers by 2011.”

The new scheme marks the launch of national Anti-Bullying Week (17-21 November).

As well as the schools based education programme, Premier Rugby is dedicating Round 20 of the Guinness Premiership into a fund and awareness building weekend for Childline, just as the Premiership clubs did, so successfully, last season with Breast Cancer Care.

Premier Rugby’s Community Manager, Wayne Morris said: “The Kicking Bullying Into Touch programme is a great way for us to use our unique assets, namely our club brands and players, to tackle an issue that is very high on the government’s agenda. Rugby thrives on its diversity, where all different types of people come together to create a successful team. By using some of the key skills in the game, within the inclusive environment rugby generates, we believe the programme will make a real difference to the lives of young children.”

For more information about the partnership go to

Later this week I’ll have some of the videos that players made for the campaign.