Founded one year ago, the Lethbridge chapter of Bikers Against Bullying (BAB) was in Galt Gardens on Thursday, handing out water bottles and introducing themselves to the community.
“It’s all about helping children — they’re the next generation,” says Tony Sandford, vice-president of the Lethbridge chapter. “We want to try and save as many children from being damaged as we can, so that hopefully, the world becomes a better place.”
READ MORE: Bikers Against Bullying roar through Kelowna
It’s a mantra that BAB lives by, as they ride through cities with the aim of keeping children safe.
Already established in several areas across the country, including Kelowna and Calgary, the organization decided to head south last year and start their own Lethbridge chapter.
“This year, there’s actually been a huge expansion with Bikers Against Bullying in general,” says Chris Plumb, president of the Lethbridge chapter.
“There’s 22,000 members in North America but we definitely started a new one in Lethbridge to make a difference here with the bullied kids.”
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Plumb also says BAB was brought to the city out of a need to stop the trend of bullied youth. He added that this is a national problem that needs to be tackled proactively in each area.
One way he hopes to do that is by not only offering help and support to the victims but putting a system in place that will put a stop to the behaviour as a whole. And that means helping the bullies themselves.
“A lot of the time, someone that’s bullying, well, their home environment may not be the most productive for them and they don’t have an outlet for it,” says Plumb.
“So we’re working on a system to be able to take them out to kickboxing for five weeks to learn self-discipline and to understand that you don’t have to be pushing people around to fit in.”
Members of the Lethbridge chapter also say another plan is in the works to develop an app that will be free for schools to use, where children can reach out if they themselves or people they know are being bullied.
The organization will then contact the victim, offering a network of support and services to overcome the problem.
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“One of the biggest problems is that a lot of the time, people don’t speak out, and we need to break that silence,” says Plumb. “So that you or someone you know can get the help they need if this is happening to them.”
However, rallying against bullying isn’t the organization’s only purpose as the team also works to support causes and events all year long throughout the city.
The next event that the BAB will be attending is the Terry Fox Run on Sept. 16. For a full list of BAB events, appearances and services, you can visit their website at bablethbridge.com.
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