The Barwon region is promoting healthy relationships for young people through an innovative netball initiative.
What started as a challenge between two Geelong Catholic schools, has developed into an annual event which now engages multiple secondary schools (public, private and Catholic) around the topic of healthy and respectful relationships. Students and staff from St Joseph’s College and Clonard College came together in 2012 to play a netball game as part of White Ribbon Day - International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The initiative, now known as the Barwon Respect Netball Cup, involves selected Year Nine students participating in workshops exploring issues of consent, gender equity, the role of the bystander and the impact of attitudes and behaviours, followed by a mixed round-robin netball competition. The event itself is designed to be gender inclusive – from male and female facilitators of workshops, mixed teams and single gender teams (dependent on schools), male and female umpires and scorers.
Evaluation of the 2016 Respect Cup event found:
- Prior to the event 70% of students agreed with statement “I have a role to play in preventing violence against women”. Post the event this figure rose to 92%.
- Prior to the event 59% of students agreed with statement “I feel confident to speak out against attitudes and actions that support or contribute to family violence”. Post the event this figure jumped to 82%.
This year (2017) the Respect Cup engaged with ten schools (approximately 150 students and 20 school staff) that provided a valuable experience where students could take what they have learned and utilise in their day to day lives. This event now sits alongside the Respectful Relationships Education curriculum which is currently being implemented within schools in the Barwon region.
For further information on the Prevention of family violence in the Barwon region see the Barwon Health website.
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