Sports Clubs Say Itís not OK in Horowhenua
04 May 2012Taking the message on to the field is the 12th grade promotion squad for junior soccer in Levin (pictured).
They are just one of a number of teams in Horowhenua Kapiti displaying the It's not OK logo this winter season on their uniforms as part of the Horowhenua It's not OK local campaign.
Additional participating teams are the 10th grade Otaki soccer team, two senior men's Levin teams and Horowhenua basketball referees.
Other sports teams are queuing up to be part of the campaign since the new kit was launched.
"We launched our first Levin football kit at a regional tournament in Wellington over Easter. Right from the start - from the kids and their parents - feedback was really positive, Sergeant John Battersby said.
"They looked smart, the It's not OK logo is almost an A4 page size and can be seen clearly across the field. They made such an impact that a lot of other teams wanted to know where they got their kit from, and after games considerable praise and positive feedback was given for it.
"The reason we chose the promotion grade was exactly to get this type of appeal across Horowhenua-Kapiti and Wellington. It has worked extremely well," he said.
A workshop on family violence and what It's not OK means is delivered to all participating teams along with guidelines for appropriate sideline and on the field behaviour.
The Police and It's not OK champion Jeremy Eparaima delivered these workshops and the effect was noticeable, Sergeant Battersby said.
"I started describing my experience with family violence victims, jaws started to drop. Then Jeremy started his presentation and you could have heard a pin drop. It was really powerful stuff and well received.
"The community as a whole are responding to the message - they come up to us privately and tell us that.
"We are looking at further developing this project into other sports codes and teams."
The project is run by the Levin South Neighbourhood Policing Team which has a strong emphasis on promoting proactive long term strategies to reduce offending and has been supported by It's not OK.