Boxer Jeff Horn teaches students how to be tough outside the ring

TOUGH: Year seven students Chloe Pudney and Olivia Wells with boxer Jeff Horn, year six student Luke Wills, year 11 student Brett Fernandes, principal Dr Lyn Bishop and ICANIWILL chief executive Conan Visser. Photo: Sheldon College
TOUGH: Year seven students Chloe Pudney and Olivia Wells with boxer Jeff Horn, year six student Luke Wills, year 11 student Brett Fernandes, principal Dr Lyn Bishop and ICANIWILL chief executive Conan Visser. Photo: Sheldon College

JEFF Horn might beat up his opponents for sport inside the boxing ring but in everyday life, he exercises a different kind of toughness able to lift him from defeat.

Simply venting to friends and family to overcome negative thoughts has helped the WBO welterweight title boxer to become mentally strong.

Mr Horn visited Sheldon College to impart a key lesson to students about resilience – that feeling sad or picked on is not a sign of weakness.

“I remember going home upset after being called names at school,” he said.

“It’s important to have people you can talk to and release frustrations. I have learnt to ignore negativity and all of these moments in life, even at school, as they teach you how to build resilience.”

Mr Horn’s visit was all part of efforts to help combat youth suicide through the #ICANIWILL social media campaign, which uses celebrity appearances with children in fun videos to promote inclusion.

Students watched as Mr Horn and ICANIWILL founder Conan Visser, who is a former Sheldon College student, were asked trivia questions by year six pupil Luke Wills.

Things got a little messy when feathers, gravy and flour were brought out for a game of Truth or Dunk, which was also filmed.

Principal Dr Lyn Bishop said the video would send a powerful message to children about the social issue of bullying.

A statement on the ICANIWILL website reveals youth suicide rates in Australia have peaked to a ten-year high, with 400 deaths in the past year alone.

“Suicide in Australia is now the most common cause of death in children and adolescents,” the statement reads.

“...ICANIWILL uses influential figures to raise awareness and strengthen the mission against bullying, for youth suicide prevention.”

For more about ICANIWILL, visit here.