FORMER Canberra Raider Alan Tongue has joined forces with Macksville Sea Eagles to present the Tackling Violence Program.
The program uses rugby league as a positive vehicle to talk to the community about the serious issue of domestic violence.
Tongue paid a visit to the coastal town to speak with students at the local high school and rub shoulders with footy mates.
"I enjoy talking to students in years nine and ten about healthy teenage relationships and why it's never okay to use threatening, aggressive or violent behaviours against women or children," he said.
"Football drills are then used to help the students identify domestic violence themes, such as what it's like to feel powerless, unable to communicate and how to ask for help."
The Sea Eagles have been spreading the anti-violence message for the past four years and have made several national television commercials as part of the package.
"Since the program began in 2009, 1500 men from 37 rugby league clubs have completed educational workshops and 1800 have signed the code of conduct to refrain from domestic violence," Tongue revealed.
"In country NSW, playing footy is something all the boys want to do.
"So it makes sense that we use rugby league as a means to educate men and spread the message that domestic violence will not be tolerated.
"It's a sad fact that 19 of the top 20 Local Government Areas for domestic violence assaults are in regional NSW.
"As a country boy, born and bred, I know a statistic like that doesn't make me proud.
"It makes me want to do something.
"Tackling violence is part of the ethos of the Macksville Sea Eagles now and that's a wonderful legacy for future generations."