Encouraging positive choices
“Only dead fish go with the flow” is the message that North Queensland Toyota Cowboys NRL forward Gavin Cooper and under-20s players Sam Pau and Viliame Kikau delivered to Ignatius Park College students today.
After presenting a workshop to students on the effects and impact of alcohol abuse, as part of the Cowboys Try Time! program, Cooper explained: “The program’s theme is aimed at reinforcing the message for students to think for themselves rather than following the crowd or going with the flow.”
Delivered to schools throughout Townsville, Cloncurry and Mt Isa through a partnership with Youth with a Mission (YWAM), the Try Time! program is a series of eight workshops on issues confronting young people today.
Workshop topics include drugs and alcohol, social media and the internet, self-esteem and food and obesity and creating goals.
“Young people are under such an enormous amount of pressure to do as their peer group are doing, and to follow what they see and hear in both mainstream and social media,” Cooper said.
“The Try Time! program challenges students to think about what’s right for them, and to make informed decisions rather than to just go with the flow.”
Try Time! is a collaborative partnership between BHP Billiton Cannington, the North Queensland Cowboys and YWAM and developed in direct consultation with Education Queensland and Catholic Education.
The program is targeted at year 8 and year 9 students and uses a series of interactive sessions that address social issues identified as having a direct and negative impact on learning and potentially long-term life outcomes.
Today’s hour-long seminar was titled “Unhinge the Binge – Prevent Binge Drinking”, and included group discussions, video clips and simulated scenarios.
Since the program commenced in early May, schools have already requested workshop sessions for more than 2500 students.
“The feedback on our first workshops has been incredibly positive,” Cowboys community relations manager Fiona Pelling said.
“The topics and the format of the sessions have hit a chord with both students and schools and we're being inundated with requests to run them at more and more schools.”