Promoting peace message

By Vatapuia Maiava ,

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SAYING NO TO VIOLENCE: Georgian rugby player Nodar Andguladze with Avele’s principal Lesaisaea Reupena Matafeo.

SAYING NO TO VIOLENCE: Georgian rugby player Nodar Andguladze with Avele’s principal Lesaisaea Reupena Matafeo.

Students and teachers at Avele College welcomed some very special guests yesterday when members of the Georgia rugby team dropped by.

Taking time out of their busy training schedule just three days before the big game, Former Georgian rugby player Nodar Andguladze along with other Georgian players attended a special Avele assembly to lecture the students about the importance of peace.

After the presentation of a Georgia rugby jersey and rugby ball to Avele principal Lesaisaea Reupena Matafeo, Mr. Andguladze began his address to the students which involved a few short rugby clips.

“Rugby for me and my boys is not just a sport; it’s a way of life,” he said.

“I have played rugby ever since I was nine so that’s almost 30 years now, I have dedicated my whole life to rugby and I will dedicate whatever I have left to it.

“Rugby teaches us a lot of values; to have good sportsmanship, treat others the way you want to be treated and you wouldn’t want to hurt someone.

“Team and rugby; we stand up for each other; if you are victorious then be humble and when you lose then you do the same.

“Everyone has a place to play with rugby, it is a very physical sport but it is non-violent; that is important to understand.”

According to Mr. Andguladze, the Avele visit augurs well with the ‘end violence campaign’ which started back in 2010.

“For six years now Georgia rugby has been promoting a campaign against domestic violence and against any other type of violence,” he said.

“We believe that violence is highly unacceptable anywhere.”

After a brief video showing the different successes Georgian Rugby has attained over the years, Mr. Andguladze continued on with why the non-violence campaign is so important.

“This is our success on the field,” he said.

“Being a good player and being a good role model are two different things.

“People ask us why we should promote such a campaign, my instant answer is ‘why not?’, there is so much violence in the whole world and that motivates me to not be part of it.

“I have three children, I would hate to see them being a victim of abuse and that is why I want to talk to you guys.

“Ever since I was 11 I have experienced four wars in Eastern Europe; and how does one bounce back from such experience? I choose the path of peace.

“I also chose the path of sports.

“For us peace is a life-long commitment, the fight for violence is a life-long commitment.

“The different types of violence are: physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, verbal, economical and stalking.

“This is what we have committed ourselves to fight and I hope that you will join us in the near future.”

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