Story on school bullying gets N.R.L. award

Edelphi Hunt didn’t know that expressing herself and her struggles in writing would one day be recognised by people. 

Edelphi was announced the winner of the 2018 NRL-BSL Short Story Competition for Vaiala Beach School during their Year 8 get together on Friday evening at Sheraton Aggie Grey’s Resort. 

Her Year 8 class was just given a day in school to write a short story without prior advice—and being a shy and timid girl—her teacher Anne Meredith encouraged her to write about her feelings. 

Edelphi said her story was based on bullying and how the National Rugby League (N.R.L.) helped her overcome a dark phase in her childhood. 

“In Year 6 I was bullied by a boy and it made me really sad,” she told Samoa Observer with tears. 

“I was a new student there (Vaiala) and in Term 3, N.R.L. came and showed a slide show, after the slide show, that boy stopped bullying me, which made me really happy.  “N.R.L. really helped me through that situation. In the past three years, now I am in Year 8, N.R.L. is just helping everybody out. They are helping to raise awareness on bullying, which is really making me happy.”

 Edelphi said she thought they were going to play a game with N.R.L., but when they were told to write, she wanted to share her story about what happened to her in Vaiala. 

“The award was a surprise. It was really hard for me because I was doing my exams and I thought I’m just going to hang out. When I went to get my certificate and she gave me the N.R.L. certificate, I was really blown away because that was my story, and now everyone loves it,” she said.  

“Before I came to Vaiala Beach School, I didn’t want to express myself, but then Anne told me to express myself by writing a story, so I just wrote my story.” 

 Edelphi will be attending Samoa College next year and hopes to be a lawyer in the future. 

“I want to be a lawyer when I grow up so that I can defend people who don’t have much and who cannot defend themselves.” 

Edelphi’s message to bullies out there is to stop hurting innocent children who don’t deserve it. 

Her mother, Toepe Eliza Hunt, said she never knew that Edelphi was bullied in Year 6 as she never talked about it.  

“I didn’t know that she was bullied, she didn’t share what she went through because they used to attend Samoa Primary School. 

“As parents we teach them virtues, and they also attend capacity building classes, which allow them to develop those virtues, such as love, kindness, and patience.”

“From a mother, we feel that this is a deep message that needs to be shared.”  Toepe said it was a wonderful surprise for her family to be present at the gathering, when the announcement was made.  “It was a very special moment. I was told that the story was done in class, there was no moment given to think about it, and was given to the N.R.L. staff on the same day. 

“That was an important factor to me because of the very raw imaginations of the kids, in a very short period of time, that they have to come up with a short story. 

“The story highlighted a very important issue internationally and that was bullying.” 

Toepe said the event also made her realise that her daughter will not be young forever, and she was growing into a young girl.  

“Everyone was dressed up, and for me as a mother seeing my daughter dress up and putting on makeup, it was a wakeup call that not only will these kids be leaving the school, but you also realise that they’ve really grown into young ladies,” she added.

The writing competition is run by N.R.L. and sponsored by Business Systems Limited, and Vaiala Beach School is one of the participating schools. 

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