Rugby club stands up for diversity

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Sydney University Football Club (SUFC), the birthplace of Australian rugby which continues to breed many star Super Rugby and Wallaby greats, is teaming up with Australia’s World Champion gay rugby team, the Sydney Convicts, to help promote the message of diversity in sport and the community.

“Diversity in life, and sport, is a human right and I am proud that Sydney University Football Club is working with the Sydney Convicts to ensure this message is being received by everyone in the community,” said Berrick Barnes, SUFC player and Australian Wallaby. “This day is also about our local community embracing the SUFC as their own by supporting the team. We hope that everyone can get to the game and cheer on The Students.”

An exhibition rugby 10s game will be played at the historic No. 1 Oval at Sydney University between The Students (SUFC) and The Convicts on Saturday, June 18 and will be part of SUFC’s Community & Diversity Day. The game is designed to spread the word about tolerance of diversity in sport and life and help with the fight against homophobia in the community. This is the first time a Premier Rugby Club anywhere in the world has become actively involved in such a cause. The two teams will be competing for the “Diversity Shield”.

“The Sydney University Football Club is very pleased to be working with the Sydney Convicts for our Community & Diversity Day. The partnership of these two well-known clubs is a fantastic thing for rugby union in Australia,” said President of SUFC, David Mortimer AO.  “SUFC is very proud to be associated in this initiative and helping to spread the word about diversity, not only in sport, but in everyday life.”

The day will be dedicated to embracing the local population and celebrating its diversity, with many attractions planned for a day of family fun at Sydney University. This includes: Animal farm, face painting and jumping castle of the kids and market stalls on the sideline with a variety of food and products, to embrace the diverse cultures in our local community.

“It’s brilliant that Sydney University has put on a day especially designed to embrace the culture of the local community. It once again proves that rugby union is leading the way in supporting diversity in sport,” said David Whittaker, President of the Sydney Convicts.

“We hope that rugby players at all levels will feel comfortable being themselves and will ultimately be able to enjoy the game without even thinking about their sexuality. Then we’ll really know we’ve arrived at a place where there is true acceptance and diversity,” said David Whittaker, President of the Sydney Convicts. “Sexuality should be a non-issue and the focus should be on playing great rugby. This isn’t the case yet, but with the great work being done by SUFC and others, it will no doubt be the case soon”

“You can be sure that the Sydney University boys will not be taking it easy on the Convicts when we play a match during the Community & Diversity Day”, said Student and Waratah Daniel Halangahu. “Whether rucking or mauling, we will be in it to win and the Convicts are up for some tough competition from the Students!”


Please direct all media enquiries to:

Baden Stephenson, Executive General Manager, Sydney University Football Club

02 9351 7245 / 0450 151 115