Casey Hynes, the internet sensation who stood up to his tormentors is still fighting bullying, but now he has NRL boxing trainer Christian Marchegiani in his corner
IT’S fightback time for Casey Heynes. When the 16-year-old could no longer take the punches and was shown on YouTube slamming his playground bully to the ground, he turned into an internet sensation and a pin-up for bullying victims everywhere.
Now, the western Sydney teenager is joining forces with NRL boxing trainer Christian Marchegiani to launch a statewide anti-bullying campaign.
Called Underdog, it kicks off in three months time and will see the duo speak at schools across the state, workplaces and anywhere else that bullying occurs in an effort to stamp it out.
“I’m sick and tired of people getting picked on. I’ve seen it my whole life and I want it to stop,” Casey said
The YouTube video that went viral globally showed fellow Chifley High School student Ritchard Gale punching Casey several times in the face, before Casey snapped, lifted his tormentor in the air and threw him to the ground.
Marchegiani, who works with the Sydney Swans as well as a number of Australian cricketers and NRL players, has become Casey’s mentor.
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He said he got in contact with Casey because he had a similar experience with being bullied when he was young.
“When I was in high school I retaliated and snapped because I’d had enough … I was expelled from that school.
“Later on I was in trouble with the law and I was told that if I don’t do something with my life that I’d go to jail,” he said.
The video of Casey body slamming Ritchard was taken off ine in March, but the teen, who wants to be a pilot, said his fame was yet to wane.
“I can’t go down the road without everyone going ‘oh my god you’re Casey, can I take your picture?’,” he said.
While that might be annoying, he did get to meet Justin Bieber.
“That was amazing because I’ve never had an (inter)national celebrity just call me up and go `do you want to come to my concert?’,” he said.
He said Mr Marchegiani and his own experiences inspired him to join the campaign.
“The (bullying) peed me off because if you get it every single day you get annoyed by it.”
Casey said he had watched the video a number of times “because it has been on the news” and said he didn’t regret standing up for himself.
“I have regrets for picking (him) up but glad that I did it,” he said.