Turbos walk with women onto the rugby field

Turbos Kurt Baker, left, and Nick Crosswell train before Sunday's game.

Turbos Kurt Baker, left, and Nick Crosswell train before Sunday's game.

Women will walk with the Manawatu Turbos on to the field for the Mitre 10 Cup clash against Wellington as they take a stand against family violence.

The wives, girlfriends, mothers and daughters will hold hands with the players as they make a pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence.

The gentle moment before kick-off on Sunday is a public demonstration of the Manawatu Rugby Union's partnership with the Manawatu Abuse Intervention Network to raise awareness, change attitudes and reduce family violence.

Chief executive John Knowles said it was part of efforts to raise standards and encourage behaviour based on respect and responsibility.

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So far, about 50 players and managers had been through training sessions as part of the network's Enough is Enough campaign, which would also be rolled out to the clubs.

The seminars were designed to help participants to understand, respond to and support anyone experiencing any form of family violence.

Network co-ordinator Gail Wood said "Walk with her" was a symbolic way to spread awareness further.

Wood said it was important for the moment to be real and significant for the players and make the crowd stand up and take notice.

"It's about them making sure their women feel safe, and that they will take care of them.

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"It's showcasing the Turbos ready to go out and play, to show that softer side of them for a moment.

"And it's about walking with them, not ahead of them, not pulling them along."

 - Stuff


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