SUNSHINE Coast Rugby Union is joining the celebrations of NAIDOC week, with the Stingrays donning Indigenous-inspired jerseys for their match against Gold Coast on Saturday.
Special edition jerseys designed for the Premier and Colts divisions showcase a striking Aboriginal art print which will be unveiled at training tonight.
“Sunshine Coast Rugby Union opted to place indigenous culture at the centre of its Heritage Round Celebrations,” said SCRU Director Tony Riddle.
“It gives the Coast rugby community an opportunity to celebrate this rich culture and heritage. It is about returning positive outcomes for the code and the wider community. It’s an opportunity to recognise, not only our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, but also other heritages of Australia.”
Stingrays prop Haydn Hirsimaki said players would be proud to wear the Indigenous jersey.
“As active members of the community it’s an honour to be able to recognise NAIDOC week this way,” he said. “Playing in the first match of its kind for Sunshine Coast Rugby represents another milestone for us. Plus, we’re playing Gold Coast at home and hopefully we can come away with a win for our patient supporters.”
A feast of rugby is planned from 9am with 10 games involving Stingrays Premiers and Colts versus Gold Coast; U16 and U17 matches between Stingrays and Churchie; and 1st XV and U15 schools internationals between Sunshine Coast Grammar and King William’s College from the United Kingdom.
On Sunday Stingrays U16s will host The Southport School U16As.
There will be a “Welcome to Country” ceremony before the Premiers match.
Saturday Stockland Field 7:
9am: U13 Stingrays Possibles v Probables.
10am: U14 Stingrays Possibles v Probables.
11am: U15 Sunshine Coast Schoolboys v Jnr Stingray Invitation XV.
2.30pm: Sunshine Coast Grammar U15 v King William’s College.
3.30pm: Sunshine Coast Grammar 1st XV v King William’s College.
12.45: U16 Stingrays v Churchie 16A.
2.00pm: U17 Stingrays v Churchie 1st XV.
3.15pm: Stingrays v Gold Coast Colts.
4.45pm: Stingrays v Gold Coast A Grade.
Sunday Stockland: Stingray U16s host The Southport School U16A.