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Newtown Jets players Jaimin Jolliffe, Matt Evans & Scott Sorensen. Photo: Mike Magee
Newtown Jets players Jaimin Jolliffe, Matt Evans & Scott Sorensen. Photo: Mike Magee

Newtown Jets announce Australian Rugby League’s first-ever Pride and Diversity Day in support of LGBTIQ Community

Australia’s first and oldest rugby league club the Newtown Jets are proud to announce another first for the sport. On Saturday June 8, Newtown’s traditional home ground of Henson Park will host Australian rugby league’s first ever Pride and Diversity Day in support of the LGBTIQ community.

The Newtown Jets’ Pride and Diversity Day furthers rugby league’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion of its players, employees, fans and communities by the Newtown Jets, our partners at Cronulla Sharks, the NSW Rugby League and the National Rugby League.

The Day aligns with the NRL’s Inclusion Framework, whereby one of the core values of rugby league is the principle that every participant, whether as a player, parent, spectator, coach, volunteer, referee or official, should respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person, regardless of their personal traits, preferences or appearance.

Newtown players will wear rainbow socks in our home game at Henson Park against Wentworthville on Saturday June 8 and with the rainbow flag painted on the field in support of the LGBTIQ community. The theme of the day is “Everyone is Welcome”, reiterating Newtown’s history of inclusion of players and fans from all facets of society, and proudly supporting the LGBTIQ community’s contribution to the Newtown family.

In announcing the initiative, Newtown Jets Director David Ray said “Our club’s footprint is home to one of Australia’s largest LGBTIQ communities. The launch of Pride and Diversity Day celebrates the contribution of the LGBTIQ community to our club and region. It reaffirms that Newtown is everyone’s team, and everyone is welcome at Henson Park. I thank my fellow directors, the Cronulla Sharks, the NSWRL and the NRL for their immediate and strong support of Pride and Diversity Day on Saturday June 8”.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg congratulated the Newtown Jets, saying “This is another wonderful example of how inclusive our game is. Everyone is welcome and everyone is equal, no matter their background, heritage, sexual orientation, gender or ability.  The Jets have such a positive influence and following amongst their local community and beyond and this is another example of how rugby league can bring people together and celebrate as one.”

Supporting Pride and Diversity Day, NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said “The NSWRL has a proud history of inclusion and we’re proud to be associated with Newtown’s Pride and Diversity Day. We already run wonderful programs to ensure Rugby League is inclusive and accessible for everybody including Monarch Blues Tag (non-tackle), weight dispensation scheme, Fast Footy and Try League (for culturally and linguistically diverse communities). I encourage everyone to get to Henson Park on Saturday 8 June to support a wonderful cause where “Everyone is Welcome” and enjoy a great game of footy.”

Inner West Council Mayor Darcy Byrne said “One of the great things about the Jets is they draw supporters from every walk of life. The LGBTQI community turn out in force on the Hill at Henson and it’s great to see the Club showing respect and solidarity in return. The Inner West is a spiritual home for the Newtown Jets and the gay and lesbian community and as Mayor I am very proud that both are central to our sense of identity.”

John Morris, coach of Newtown partners Cronulla Sharks said “On behalf of the Cronulla Sharks we are very proud to support the Jets’ Pride and Diversity Day. It will be a great day for all involved and strengthens the strong partnership Pride and Diversity has with Rugby League, the first national sporting code to endorse the anti-homophobia and inclusion framework. I encourage all Sharks and Jets fans to show your support and head out to Henson Park for the Pride & Diversity game on Saturday June 8.”

Tickets for the Pride and Diversity Day match between Newtown and Wentworthville are $10 for Adults, $5 Concession and Kids under 16 enter free of charge. Kick-off is at 3.00pm.

For Media Inquiries, please contact Newtown Jets Director David Ray at daveray99@gmail.com and on Twitter at @daveray99.

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Newtown Jets respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the Land and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on and that the land area encompassing Henson Park traditionally belonged to the Gadigal people of the Eora nation.