New Scheme Sees Rugby League Stars Address Bullying in UK Primary Schools

Rugby League is partnering with one of the UK’s biggest social care charities to address bullying and discrimination in primary school children across Britain.

The education programme, ‘We’re On The Same Team’, has been designed to promote positive attitudes in young people and tackle prejudice before it is formed.  The campaign has been designed by the charity Community Integrated Care in response to a rise in disability hate crime and the negative experiences of people who access care and support.

The new initiative offers teachers a comprehensive suite of lesson plans, teaching resources and classroom challenges that build empathy and consideration. With a broad message of inclusion that focuses on the importance of appreciating the value and humanity of every person, it enables young people to see the best in each other.

At the centre of the campaign is a promotional video featuring participants of the Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League – a programme that enables people who have learning disabilities and autism to play the sport that they love.

The short film also portrays Rugby League stars, including St Helens and England forward Jodie Cunningham, explaining how in Rugby League and in life, people must believe in and support each other.

Participating schools can also win prizes, including tickets for rugby league events, signed Rugby League World Cup 2021 merchandise and PE equipment.

John Hughes, Director of Partnerships and Communities at Community Integrated Care, said: “To live in a society where every person is welcome and valued, it is vital that our young people grow up with kind, compassionate and inclusive attitudes. We are excited by the role that On The Same Team can play in nurturing these beliefs and helping schools to be truly welcoming environments.

“This campaign has been purpose designed with teachers to support teachers. It offers a creative, fun, upbeat and exciting way to promote inclusion, where young people can hear from inspirational role models and hear real stories that challenge stereotypes. With the excitement of Rugby League, brilliant prizes, and truly creative lessons, this is something that every primary school can benefit from.”

St Helens and England Rugby League star, Jodie Cunningham, added: “It was an honour to support On The Same Team. Rugby League is a sport that can powerfully represent teamwork, cooperation and inclusion.

“Every school that delivers this programme will gain so much, giving their young people exciting learning experiences and lessons that they will carry for life. This is the perfect programme for schools to end their year with, ahead of the summer break.”