Ian Thorpe is one of Australia’s greatest Olympians but, like so many others, he was subjected to bullying at school.
The swimming legend (pictured) will host a three-part documentary series for the ABC, The Bully Project, featuring Queensland teenagers aged 14 to 18.
The five-time Olympic gold medallist, 33, told The Daily Telegraph he felt bullied, including by teachers, when he returned to school as a 14-year-old having just won a world championship gold medal.
“Instantly I stuck out and it’s one of those things that all you want in your teenage years is to fit in,” he said.
“People would question why I was at school. They were either great about it, or I had some experiences with teachers who really had this issue around the fact I’d been successful.”
“That was the minority, I must insist … but it only takes one (bully) and it can really affect you.”
The series, which is partnered with ReachOut Australia, is based on a Dutch format and will shortly commence filming in Queensland where legislation permits the use of hidden cameras.
Ian is encouraging members of the public aged 14–18 years of age who have been bullied to get in touch to take part in The Bully Project.
If you live in Queensland, and you or your child is being bullied or know someone who is, the show would like to hear from you. Go to stopbullying.tv to find out more.
Watch Ian’s video below or click here to view it on YouTube.