Queensland Reds hooker Saia Fainga’a today launched the Reds Indigenous Round with the unveiling of the new unique playing jersey to be worn in their match against the Chiefs on Saturday 6 June.
The Reds Indigenous Round was launched at Ballymore and Fainga’a was joined by Indigenous Queensland Women’s Sevens player Talisha Harden and Queensland Reds Indigenous Program participant Paul Cobbo.
Fainga’a is one of a number of Indigenous program ambassadors for Queensland Rugby and he said the Indigenous Round match is something he is always proud to be a part of.
“Rather than having a strictly Rugby focus, it’s great to see the Queensland Reds Indigenous Program delivering educational and employment results and opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout Queensland,” Fainga’a said.
“It’s a special occasion for the Reds to host an Indigenous Round and acknowledge the achievements of the program and it’s participants and as players its something we’re proud to take part in.
“Given our Indigenous heritage, the event holds a lot of meaning for Anthony and I.”
The Indigenous Round match will take place following National Reconciliation Week and will feature several Queensland Rugby initiatives, including Queensland Rugby’s Indigenous Business Breakfast at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition next Thursday morning and the Future Indigenous Leaders Program Leadership Camp in Brisbane.
Participants from Queensland Rugby’s Future Indigenous Leaders Program will travel from remote communities across the State including Cherbourg, Woorabinda and Yarrabah, to Brisbane next week where they will take part in leadership and cultural activities from Thursday to Monday.
Since the introduction of the Indigenous Round jersey in 2012, the Queensland Reds Indigenous Program has experienced exponential growth. Indigenous artist Stephen Hogarth has provided new artwork for the 2015 jersey to reflect the growth of the program, which has grown from delivering to two remote Indigenous communities to six, from 20 visits to the communities to over 95 annually and individual mentoring programs from 40 participants to more than 150 aged between 11-19 years of age.
The Reds will play in this match jersey featuring the artwork on the back, sleeves, and down the sides. The artwork represents the coming together of communities from across Queensland. This match jersey will be worn in the Reds vs Chiefs match on Saturday 6 June, 2015 and signed by the player who wore it.