Young athletes lead the way to a future without violence

Sporting codes from across the board are rallying behind an innovative program centred around respect and aimed at curbing domestic violence across Australia.  

Canberra is set to be the launch pad for “Coaching Boys into Men” (CBIM), an initiative set to engage sports coaches who then mentor their young male athletes about the importance of respect for themselves, others and especially women. 

The highly successful program began in the United States, with violence prevention advocate Mark Wadie finding there is a place for it here.   

“Coaches play a hugely influential and unique role in the lives of young men, putting them in a key position to positively influence how young men think and behave, both on and off the field,” says Mark, I Respect founder and operator of the CBIM program in Australia.  

CBIM is an evidence-based prevention program centred around training and motivating coaches to teach their players about healthy relationship skills, and that violence never equals strength.  

The program only takes a day to teach to coaches, equipping them with the resources to then roll the program out to their teams over a 12-week period. 

Australian Men's Rugby Sevens Head Coach and program ambassador Andy Friend, says it’s a program every team should get behind.  

“Every sporting club, sponsor, school and coach should back the program,” Andy said. “It’s easy to implement, and the results are immeasurable. Coaches become better mentors, and their players learn to live with respect and take a stand against gender based violence.” 
Mark has touched the lives of professional athletes, politicians, executives, teenage boys, students, business owners and the homeless through his men’s workshops, public speaking and coaching work.  

He created the I Respect initiative, centring around encouraging positive behaviour for men.  
"I want my daughter to grow up feeling equal without fear of harassment, abuse or violence. I want my son to grow up surrounded by good men that support each other emotionally and hold each other to account," Mark concluded. 

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Media contact: Jessica Conway, 0421 288 439