Openly gay rugby referee Nigel Owens
has said that bullying drove him to consider taking his own life.
The 47-year-old Owens, one of three
professional referees at the Welsh Rugby Union, came out gay in 2007,
telling Wales on Sunday that it was hard to come out
because he didn't want to jeopardize his career.
Owens, also a television personality,
is among the celebrities participating in the #Back2School
video for the campaign, Owens said that he attempted to take his
own life when he was 26.
“There is no doubt that experiencing
that difficult time at school, being bullied, and then experiencing
that difficult time in dealing with my sexuality and dealing with
mental health issues and the depression and stuff that came with that
time when I did something that I will regret for the rest of my
life,” Owens said.
“I was 26 years of age where I left a
note for my mum and dad and said I couldn’t carry on living anymore
and I attempted to take my own life.”
“And If I hadn’t been found by
people looking for me then, 20 minutes and it would have been too
late, and I wouldn’t be here speaking today.”
“It’s something I will regret for
the rest of my life and looking back now with life experiences I
should have learned from that first experience of bullying that you
have to accept that there are issues and to seek help to deal with
them,” he added.
campaign hopes to train anti-bullying ambassadors for schools
across the UK.