A rugby hero was back on home turf to spend the day with college students promoting an important message.
Celebrated England Rugby World Cup winner and former Northampton Saints player Ben Cohen raised awareness of his new anti-bullying charity - Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation - at Northampton College. The aim of the foundation is to combat bullying and homophobia, and during his visit, Cohen talked to college students about the long-term, damaging effects of bullying, in particular homophobia in sports. He also had the chance to speak to bullied victims about how they have been affected in a special ‘anti-bullying cafe’ as well as leading an exciting rugby training session.
Northampton College principal Len Closs said: “We were delighted to welcome Ben along to the college as part of this special event. The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation is founded on values which reflect our whole ethos regarding bullying and harassment and we are keen to help promote his important message to stamp it out. “Our students enjoyed meeting such a significant local sports hero and being involved in raising awareness of this important cause.”
Cohen said: “I enjoyed spending the day with the students at Northampton College and am proud a college in my home town is the first to become an official ‘StandUp’ College. “Bullying affects so many people. It damages lives and young people’s futures. I am putting my whole time into combating it, wherever and to whom ever it occurs. I am incredibly privileged to have a voice to be able to do this and relishing the challenge.” Music student Joseph Conetta said: “I think it’s great that Ben has changed career focus and is now concentrating on promoting anti-bullying.
“It’s crucial we all stand up against bullies and I think the student body at Northampton College is totally on board with that. It was an interesting day.”