A nine-year-old boy who was bullied for his dwarfism has led out the Indigenous All-Stars
Australian schoolboy Quaden Bayles shot to fame as an anti-bullying ambassador after his mother Yarraka filmed him crying in the family car on Wednesday.
The Murri boy was invited to walk the Indigenous team onto the pitch at Cbus Super Stadium, on the
The crowd erupted in cheers as Quaden entered the field hand-in-hand with captain Joel Thompson at about 8pm.
He was dressed in an All-Stars jersey, donned black noise-cancelling headphones and clung to the match ball as he strode into the middle of the pitch.
‘Couldn’t help but get watery eyes and a lump in the throat seeing Quaden Bayles smiling and leading out the Indigenous All-Stars,’ one viewer wrote on Twitter.
‘Goosebumps watching Quaden Bayles walk out the Indigenous All-Stars,’ wrote another.
The crowd erupted in cheers as Quaden entered the field hand-in-hand with captain Joel Thompson about 8pm
Quaden poses with Adam Blair and Joel Thompson before the All-Stars match on the Gold Coast on Saturday
Quaden was dressed in an All-Stars jersey, donned black noise-cancelling headphones and clung to the match ball as he strode into the middle of the pitch
Quaden stopped at the half-way mark to pose for a pre-match photo with a referee, Thompson and Maori All-Stars co-captain Adam Blair.
Before entering the field, the nine-year-old gave high-fives to the squad members of the Maori All-Stars.
He was earlier snapped smiling with commentator and former North Queensland Cowboys star Johnathan Thurston.
Thurston was one of many sports stars to stand behind the schoolboy in the wake of Wednesday’s distressing video.
‘Quaden….stay strong buddy; you are loved! To the bullies….THIS IS NOT OK,’ he wrote on Instagram earlier in the week.
The Indigenous All-Stars squad filmed a video for the schoolboy on Thursday, letting him know they were on his side.
Quaden greets the Indigenous All-Stars before kick-off on Saturday. He was invited to lead the team onto CBUS stadium after after a video posted by his mother about his bullying went vira
Quaden made an outfit change on Saturday to lead the Indigenous All-Stars on the pitch on Saturday (right)
NRL star Latrell Mitchell said: ‘Hey Quadey… Just wanted to wish you all the best brother, we know you’re going through a hard time right now but the boys are here.’
‘We’ve got your back, we’re here to support you bud. We just want to make sure you’re doing alright.’
‘We want you around, we want you to lead us down on the weekend. It’s going to mean more to us than it will to you bud.
Former rugby league player Johnathan Thurston (right) poses with Quaden Bayles (left) before the NRL match between the Indigenous All-Stars and the New Zealand Maori All-Stars at Cbus Super Stadium
Quaden looks on with Cody Walker of the Indigenous All-Stars before the NRL match between the Indigenous All-Stars and the New Zealand Maori All-Stars
The Murri boy was invited to walk the Indigenous All-Stars team onto the pitch at Cbus Super Stadium, on the Gold Coast, as they took on the Maori All-Stars on Saturday
‘Just make sure you’re looking after yourself and hopefully we get to see you in the next couple of days.’
Ms Bayles said Quaden had gone ‘from the worst day of his life to the best day of his life’ after being asked to lead out the NRL team.
‘His dream is to be a footy player. That’s not going to be a reality,’ she said.
‘This is the closest thing for him to play football. That is enough for us.
Indigenous coach Laurie Daley hoped they could bring a smile to Quaden’s face after throwing open their dressing room to the youngster .
Quaden Bayles is seen with his mother Yarraka prior to the NRL Indigenous All-Stars vs Maori Kiwis match at CBus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast
Australian schoolboy Quaden Bayles shot to fame as an anti-bullying ambassador after his mother Yarraka filmed him crying in the family car on Wednesday. He has the most common type of dwarfism called achondroplasia
Quaden is pictured with NRL star Latrell Mitchell. The nine-year-old was invited to lead the Indigenous All-Stars NRL team onto the pitch on Saturday
Quaden (centre) is pictured with his mum Yarraka Bayles (left) and NRL star Cody Walker (right)
‘I think anyone who saw that video were heartbroken,’ Daley said.
‘We want to embrace him and include him in some of our activities over the next 48 hours, him and his family, just to show we care and we are here for him.’
In the heartbreaking footage, Quaden – who has the most common type of dwarfism called achondroplasia – is seen sobbing into the camera and saying he is suicidal from being relentlessly bullied.
He told his mother: ‘Give me a rope, I want to kill myself.’
Yarraka Bayles, an Aboriginal rights activist, said her son has made several attempts to take his own life
Quaden Bayles, nine, (pictured) was bullied so badly he was seen in heart breaking footage asking to kill himself
‘I just want to stab myself in the heart… I want someone to kill me.’
Quaden also scratched at his neck and said: ‘I want to die… I want to scratch myself’.
Ms Bayles shared the video publicly on Facebook in a bid to raise awareness about the impact of bullying.
She said she normally tries to keep distressing moments such as this private but felt she had been left with no choice but to go public.
What is Achondroplasia?
Achondroplasia is a disorder of bone growth that prevents the changing of cartilage (particularly in the long bones of the arms and legs) to bone.
It is characterised by limited range of motion at the elbows, large head size (macrocephaly), small fingers, and normal intelligence.
Achondroplasia can cause health complications such as interruption of breathing (apnea), obesity, recurrent ear infections and an exaggerated inward curve of the lumbar spine.
People with dwarfism have a normal life expectancy.
‘We try to be as strong as positive as possible and only share the highlights… but this is how bullying affects a nine-year-old kid,’ she said in the video.
At the start of the five-minute clip, Ms Bayles said: ‘I just picked my son up from school, witnessed a bullying episode, rang the principal and I want people to know this is the effect bullying has. This is what bullying does.
‘So can you please educate your children, your families, your friends because all it takes is one more instance… and you wonder why kids are killing themselves.’
‘This is the impact bullying has a nine-year-old kid who just wants to go to school, get an education and have fun but every single fricking day something happens.
‘Another episode another bullying, another taunt, another name-calling.’
As Quaden sobbed, Ms Bayles asked for help from anyone viewing the footage.
‘So is there any advice or support or anything that other parents have done?
‘I’ve got some good advice but I need more, I want people to know how much it is hurting us as a family,’ she said as her voice quivered.
Yarraka Bayles, from Brisbane, filmed her son Quaden (pictured together) crying in the car after she picked him up from school on Wednesday and publicly shared the video on Facebook
Incredible moment Indigenous and Maori teams clash with traditional war dances before All-Stars game – as match goes ahead WITHOUT national anthems
BY BRETT LACKEY FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA
The Australian Indigenous and New Zealand Maori All-Stars teams have performed traditional war dances before their NRL match on the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Both Advance Australia Fair and God Defend New Zealand were conspicuously absent from the lead-up to the game after protests from players.
A didgeridoo was played and a minute of silence held in honour of the stolen generation.
The Maori team then performed the traditional haka – which was followed by an Indigenous Australian war dance.
NRL star Latrell Mitchell is among a group of players to have reportedly forced the national anthem to be scrapped from the game.
Mitchell has become one of the main driving forces behind the push to stop Advance Australia Fair being played and refused to sing it at last year’s event.
The 22-year-old’s South Sydney Rabbitohs teammate Cody Walker said at the time the anthem ‘doesn’t represent me and my family’.
The ARL Commission scrapped the anthem under advice from the indigenous advisory council ahead of the annual celebration of the league’s Aboriginal and Maori players on the Gold Coast.
Mitchell himself is hoping to be in peak fitness for the game, having started his NRL pre-season late after signing with the Rabbitohs.
At least six indigenous players also refused to sing the national anthem during last year’s State of Origin series.
There is reportedly no desire though for the anthem to be removed from the 2020 State of Origin pregames, with the issue confined to the indigenous-centered All Stars game.
Josh Addo-Carr of the Indigenous All-Stars before the NRL match between the Indigenous All-Stars and the New Zealand Maori Kiwis All-Stars at Cbus Super Stadium on February 22, 2020
Maori All Stars forward Adam Blair said while he was always proud to sing New Zealand’s anthem, he understood the concerns of Indigenous players.
‘They’ve made a stance to go through the right process to take the anthem away from the game,’ Blair told AAP.
‘If that’s what they truly believe in, then that’s up to them.’
Earlier this month Mitchell posted a tribute to his Aboriginal heritage on his Instagram page.
In a powerful photograph accompanying the message, Mitchell was pictured stood in front of a darkened sky wearing a T-shirt bearing the Aboriginal flag.
‘Being Aboriginal is not the colour of your skin or how broad your nose is,’ Mitchell wrote in the Instagram post shared on Wednesday afternoon.
South Sydney star Latrell Mitchell is pictured leading an indigenous war cry before the All Stars game in Melbourne last year. He has now reportedly forced the national anthem to be scrapped from this year’s All Stars fixture on the Gold Coast
‘It is a spiritual feeling – an identity you know in your heart. It is a unique feeling that is difficult for non-Aboriginals to fully understand.’
Last year, Mitchell suffered abuse at the hands of a troll who called him a racial slur on Facebook.
Mitchell called the troll out, saying racism had no place in Australia.
He officially left the Sydney Roosters and signed with bitter rivals Souths on January 13.
It’s understood the dual premiership winner has penned a deal for $600,000 this year and $800,000 for 2021, should the Rabbitohs exercise an option to renew his contract.