Lloyd McDermott was by no means an ordinary Rugby Union player. He was the first Aboriginal player to represent his country. Pride was close to, if not the most, admirable characteristic of McDermott as a player. In 1962, as winger for the Wallabies, he made his pride in his Aboriginality clear to everyone in Australia by opting not to play as an ‘honorary white’ on the South African tour. Lloyd McDermott was a man of iconic strength. He is also noted as the first Aboriginal barrister.
The Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team was established with the goal of introducing Rugby Union to young Indigenous men and women across Australia in hopes of coupling athletics with academics. It is Lloyd McDermott's ability to combine sport and education which is at the essence of what the organization stands for and it is the reason why the organization bears his name.
Lloyd’s personal achievements serve as an inspiration to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout Australia. In addition, Lloyd McDermott is evidence that a balance between your sporting pursuits and education can be achieved.
“Give a future to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth through the Rugby Union game”. This sentence is the motto of our association, initially established in 1992 as the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Trust, in Sydney, by a group of concerned rugby enthusiasts after a double assessment. Firstly, a lot of discriminations persist and life conditions of many Aborigines are still precarious nowadays. Secondly, Rugby can help them to be more integrated in a society where pictorial art and sport are the only sector where they feel playing equally.
The Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team Inc. changed its name in 1995, and since this date concentrate its Rugby Union development towards schoolboys and schoolgirls, in cooperation with the Australian Rugby Union. Our goal is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth to see education as paramount, and staying in school as a priority. Historically, the Rugby Union game is an upper class game which is played in the private schools, too expensive for the major part of Aborigines. This sport is an entrance ticket into these prestigious institutions and allows us to fight against the lack of schooling, a major scourge for the aboriginal populations. Thus, even if they don’t become professional rugby players they could assert a recognized diploma to access university or work.
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