Jerseys raise $5000 for Indigenous programs
Gold Coast Titans received a boost with the online auction of the club's limited edition adidas 'Close the Gap' jerseys helping to raise close to $5000 towards the Titans 4 Tomorrow Indigenous Programs.by NRL
Gold Coast Titans received a boost with the online auction of the club's limited edition adidas 'Close the Gap' jerseys helping to raise close to $5000 towards the Titans 4 Tomorrow Indigenous Programs.
In support of the 'Close the Gap' round a fortnight ago, the Jetstar Titans donned special limited edition adidas jerseys designed by Indigenous role model Preston Campbell for the club's Round 22 clash against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The 17 playing jerseys were then signed by each player and auctioned via http://auction.titans.com.au/ - with a total of $4,775 being raised by the close of the auction at 8am today.
The proceeds will go back into providing further opportunities for Indigenous students through the club's Indigenous programs - the Titans Achievement Program (TAP) and the 'I CAN' program.
T4T Ambassador Preston Campbell thanked members and fans for supporting the concept as well as engaging in the spirit of the 'Close the Gap' Round.
"All our programs are based on participants achieving personal goals and targets and the money raised will go towards rewarding their achievements," said Campbell.
"People saw our TAP participants from Mornington Island, Doomadgee and Cherbourg at the Souths game proudly displaying their community banners.
"Twelve months ago the majority of these participants were not attending school or were unemployed and have begun the process of making a positive change to their lives and their communities.''
The 'I CAN' program funded by the Australia Pacific LNG Project, a joint venture between Origin, ConocoPhillips and Sinopec and developed by Titans 4 Tomorrow, the not-for-profit arm of Titans Rugby League Club, empowers Indigenous students through workshops, individual coaching and community engagement.
Dean Widders who is currently leading the team visiting the communities of Roma, Dalby, Miles, Chinchilla and Tara echoed Campbell's sentiments.
"The 'I CAN' program reinforces a positive belief in these kids that they can achieve and not only complete school but have a dream they can pursue once they finish,'' said Widders.
"They gain great pride from seeing the celebration of Indigenous culture when the players wore Preston's design on the Titans jersey.''
The jerseys showcase Campbell's Indigenous art skills, with the design based on his own painting of the club's Centre of Excellence. In the painting, the CoE is represented as not only a home of a football team but a hub where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can come and learn about culture and education.
Rugby League was the first sporting code in Australia to join the Close the Gap campaign with an inaugural Close the Gap Round in 2009. The campaign highlights the importance of working to improve Indigenous health, life expectancy and education and employment opportunities with game-wide activities.
Since its launch in 2006, 178,000 Australians have pledged to support 'Close the Gap', which is supported by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations' Learn Earn Legend! initiative.
The Close the Gap campaign calls on the Australian Government to work in real partnership with Indigenous peoples on a comprehensive action plan to close the gap on Indigenous health inequality by 2030. Its aim is to reduce the tragic gap in health statistics, which show:
* The life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is more than a decade less than for other Australians ? and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies have more than double the chance of dying before the age of one than other Australian babies.
* Heart disease is the single biggest killer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Other serious but preventable health problems include lung disease, kidney failure and eye and ear problems.
* Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples often have poor access to health care, and their health is also affected by things such as poor housing, lower levels of education, unemployment and discrimination.
To sign the pledge, log on to www.oxfam.org.au/closethegap
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