Manchester United Foundation recently teamed up with WWE Superstars Dolph Ziggler and SmackDown Women’s champion Natalya to deliver an anti-bullying workshop to participants from Foundation partner schools across Greater Manchester.
Over 75 pupils were invited to Old Trafford to attend the WWE’s Be A STAR rally in which the superstars spoke of their own experiences with bullying, and the expectations and reality of being a WWE Superstar.
WWE star Dolph Ziggler said: “Everybody gets bullied at some point and you have to find a way to deal with it, I wish that people had come to talk to me when I was at school because I was bullied as a kid.”
SmackDown Women’s Champion Natalya added: “It’s a great opportunity to share our journey and our experiences, obviously we are just like everyone else and we use our reach in the WWE to spread a positive message and inspire kids.”
The superstars also discussed online bullying and how students could find their voice to stand up to those that might be trolling them.
12-year-old Swinton High School student Jude, a WWE fan himself commented: “I learnt about different types of bullying and I learnt to not to be a bystander and actually tell someone if someone else is being bullied.”
Jude, along with other Foundation participants were also given the opportunity to attend WWE’s Monday Night Raw at Manchester Arena the night before the rally.
Speaking on his experience Jude added: ‘I got tickets from my Manchester United Foundation coach, we had really good seats and it was amazing, I had a really good time. It was incredible to see Dolph and Natalya the next day and to get their signatures.”
In closing the workshop, WWE Star Natalya offered some words of wisdom for any young person trying to achieve their dreams: ‘I think it’s really important to have a dream, have goals and to believe in yourself. For us getting to the WWE wasn’t easy, but it was a great journey and we are still continuing that journey. It’s about believing in yourself and reaching for the stars.’