Bay of Plenty Rugby CEO Mike Rogers and Jim Allan from Kitchens R Us and staff joined forces to celebrate Pink Shirt Day. JOHN/BORREN 180518jb04bop.JPG


Bay of Plenty Rugby Union replaced its traditional blue and gold colours for pink this week to celebrate the annual Pink Shirt Day to champion the anti-bullying movement.

Yesterday, union staff joined forces with a group of eight staff from local company Kitchens R Us to wear pink shirts to show their support for the Pink Shirt Day cause.

Led by the Mental Health Foundation, "Pink Shirt Day" is celebrated annually across the world, a movement which encourages everyone to work together to stop bullying by celebrating diversity and promoting social relationships.

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Yesterday, rugby union staff united with Kitchens R Us staff alongside several Steamers and Volcanix players and came together to champion the Pink Shirt Day's slogan – "Speak up, Stand together, Stop bullying".

Bay of Plenty Rugby Union chief executive Mike Rogers said it was essential for an organisation that had a significant profile to help create awareness of Pink Shirt Day.

"It was crucial for the union to be part of leading the movement to stop bullying and spread the message on how we make our community a better place," he said.

"It is great that we can partner with Kitchens R Us to generate awareness about the issues of bullying in our community and celebrate diversity.

"We believe rugby and sport generally can show our community why being inclusive is so important. Sport can provide a positive environment where people can be heard, stand together and support each other as a team.

"These are all important values in educating our community and in particular our young people," Rogers earlier said.

"Kitchens R Us has a close relationship with the rugby union, and we were only too happy to add our voice to the Pink Shirt Day cause," company project manager Tim Allan said.

"We can all relate to the Pink Shirt Day message as everyone knows someone who has been bullied or feels bullied and we need to speak up when we see it happening," he said.

"Wearing a Pink Shirt for the day helped to spark conversations about this serious issue which should never be swept under the carpet or condoned in any form," Allan said.

Pink Shirt Day aims to stop bullying and create kindness in schools, workplaces and communities by celebrating diversity and promoting positive social relationships.