Titans unveil 'Close The Gap' jersey
Indigenous Gold Coast Titans stars Scott Prince and Jamal Idris today unveiled the club's limited edition adidas 'Close The Gap' jersey which will be worn in Sunday's clash against the Rabbitohs at Skilled Park.by NRL
Indigenous Gold Coast Titans stars Scott Prince and Jamal Idris today unveiled the club's limited edition adidas 'Close The Gap' jersey which will be worn in Sunday's clash against the Rabbitohs at Skilled Park.
The Jetstar Titans will show their support for reducing the life expectancy gap of more than a decade between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by donning special limited edition adidas jerseys designed by Indigenous role model Preston Campbell this weekend.
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.
As part of this week's activities, the Titans will also host a group of 45 students from Mornington Island, Doomadgee and Cherbourg at the club for the week for education workshops as part of the Titans Achievement Program (TAP).
Campbell has only just returned from London where he represented the game in accepting the international Beyond Sport Award last week for rugby league's work in affecting social change.
The 17 playing jerseys that will be worn by the Jetstar Titans against the Rabbitohs will be signed by players and auctioned via the Titans website after the match from Monday, August 6, with all proceeds going back to the club's Titans 4 Tomorrow Indigenous programs.
Jamal Idris is the club's Close the Gap ambassador and today helped unveil the jerseys at the Titans Merchandise Store at Pacific Fair Shopping Centre.
The jerseys are on sale to fans exclusively through the Titans Merchandise Store for $180 each and players from the Titans NRL squad will be in store this Thursday, August 2 between 6.30 and 7.30pm to conduct a signing session.
Additionally, fans that purchase one of the Close the Gap jerseys this week will be offered two free tickets to Sunday's clash against the in-form Rabbitohs at Skilled Park.
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE ONE OF THESE LIMITED EDITION JERSEYS IN OUR ONLINE STORE
Idris and Prince, who have both been involved in the Indigenous All Stars concept, said it was great that the game was getting behind the 'Close the Gap' campaign.
"Being Indigenous myself, Closing the Gap of the average life expectancy between non-Indigenous people and Indigenous people is really, really meaningful to me, especially with my elders,'' said Idris.
"I've had a lot of uncles (pass away) but a lot of cousins as well and it's very unfortunate losing someone so close to you. In saying that, football has taken on the initiative to help stop that.''
Prince added: "It's great to see adidas get on board with the Gold Coast Titans and use Preston Campbell's little design. It's good to raise awareness for the Close the Gap round and it's great that all the players and most of the clubs are really getting involved in it.''
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 and will again highlight the importance of working to improve Indigenous health, life expectancy and education and employment opportunities with game-wide activities this week.
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 is calling 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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