More than 640 primary school children have been given a behind the scenes tour of the Rotorua International Stadium by the Bay of Plenty Steamers.
The team alongside Te Waiariki Purea Trust answered students' questions and shared their rugby knowledge yesterday as part of the Bully No More programme that was launched in schools this year.
Anti-bullying co-ordinator Warren Tumarae said it was important role models such as the Steamers were on board. The students were divided into groups of about 100 and were shown through the locker rooms, corporate areas and on to the field.
"They [Steamers] play a big part to help open the door and get the message out," Mr Tumarae said.
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"We've been working within the schools but this is the first session we've done with the Steamers."
The 'Bully Free Bro' mascot also took part and handed out players cards, rugby balls, drink bottles and beanies.
Mr Tumarae said the antibullying programme had been in Rotorua district schools for three months and already there were signs that it was making a difference.
"The children have started recognising us as the Bully Free Bro and once they understand what the brand is we can start to cement a way forward and build strategies so there is a community push at the grassroots level."
Steamers prop Solomona Sakalia said he enjoyed playing a part in stamping out bullying in schools.
"Kids see us playing rugby and they look up to us so it's important that we can help out," he said.
The teachers and students were given tickets to return and watch the Steamers play Canterbury tomorrow night.