An upgraded partnership between the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union and Tauranga Safe City will see a myriad of Steamers player cards being traded by school pupils throughout Tauranga City and the Western Bay of Plenty.
The “Bully No More” campaign runs alongside the highly successful “No One Likes a Bully” program with the new initiative being aimed directly at primary and intermediate school pupils.
Cards with player information will be traded as part of the anti-bullying campaign.
In 2010 The Bay Rugby Union and Tauranga Safe City formed a partnership to develop and deliver community programmes.
The focus of the programme is on elimination off all forms of violence.
The programmes draw on the resources and capabilities of the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union and are particularly effective in addressing significant social and community issues such as bullying and family violence.
Tauranga Safe City coordinator Mike Mills says the partnership between the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union and Tauranga Safe City continues to flourish.
He says it provides a platform for the development of innovative and effective programmes that are embraced within the organisation and promoted throughout the community.
“This is an outstanding example of a high profile and widely respected regional sports body taking leadership in addressing violence in all its forms in the community.”
A special feature of the Bully No More campaign is the production of collectable Steamers player’s cards.
The 33 individual cards will feature a photo and profile information on each of the 2012 Bay of Plenty Steamers team.
The cards will be distributed by Sport BOP in schools and at the Steamers home games in Mount Maunganui and it is expected that there will be plenty of trading of cards in order for youngsters to build a collection of all 33 player cards.
Well-known Steamers team members such as the Flash (Lelia Masaga) and All Blacks Sam Cane, Tanerau Latimer and Brodie Retallick are likely to be in hot demand in the trading card stakes, says Mike.
Many of the player cards will be given out when the Steamers visit school assemblies in Tauranga City and the Western Bay of Plenty.
Another opportunity for the young Steamers fans to get up close and personal with their heroes will take place at the Steamers home at Baypark on Tuesday 21st August 2012.
In association with Sport BOP, 300 primary school students will attend an open day where the students will get a tour of the Steamers home base, watch them train and hear from the coaching staff.
They will also have the opportunity to have the cards autographed by their favourite Steamers players.
Steamers coach Kevin Schuler hopes to take his team into the community, which will see the Steamers have several captains runs at Bay of Plenty schools this season.
The first will take place at Tauranga Intermediate on Friday, August 24.
Following the training run, some of the players will talk to the school assembly and distribute player cards and tickets to the Steamers first home game at Baypark the following day.