Champ Horn backs Qld anti-bullying program

·2-min read

The Queensland government has committed half a million dollars to support a program backed by former welterweight boxing champion Jeff Horn in his fight against bullying in schools.

Horn, 33, is taking his fight outside the ring and hopes the program can help kids around Queensland who struggle with confidence and bullying, like he did as a kid.

'The Hornet' is the ambassador for the Australian Martial Arts Youth Development Alliance program, which focuses on teaching children self-discipline, respect and integrity.

AMAYDA has raised $175,000 for schools across Queensland and the state government has committed to a further two-year investment to support the initiative.

The program role-plays difficult situations for students and provides them with practical solutions throughout secondary school.

It also has mentors in schools and the community who provide support where parents may not be able.

Speaking in Townsville on Monday, Horn said mentorship changed his outlook when he was young, and hopes it can do the same for youth around the state.

"I believe in the mentors and what they put together because it changed my life and I think it's going to change other people's lives," Horn said.

"As teenagers there can be a lot of confidence issues and a lot of fights happen."

"This program is all about building confidence and building leaders in our kids, and our steering them away from getting bad behaviours and making a difference in our communities."

"It covers all different martial arts and styles, and what you can do in situations where you're in trouble," Horn said.

"But it's not just physical, it's mainly teaching kids how to deal with a situation verbally before it gets physical."

So far over 4000 children and parents have been supported by the program across 42 schools in Queensland.