The Western Force will hold an Indigenous Appreciation match against Kagifa Samoa this Friday, 31 May, with a number of players to wear hand-painted boots which will be donated following the game to raise funds for the Earbus Foundation.
Thanks to the help of the wonderful students at Guildford Grammar School’s Indigenous Program, each pair of boots have been painted to represent the unique stories of the students and the Western Force players.
Western Force captain Ian Prior said the club is proud to recognise the contribution of Indigenous cultures in rugby, as well as the wider community. Prior said the opportunity to work collaboratively alongside the very talented students at Guildford was a special experience.
“Throughout my rugby journey, I have had the great pleasure to have teammates from many Indigenous cultures from across the globe, as well as at home here in Australia. As a club we are proud to be able to recognise and support the contributions of Indigenous peoples, including Western Australia’s Aboriginal people,” Prior said.
“The students at Guildford were so passionate and wonderfully talented which you can see in the fantastic artwork they created using our boots. The end results are almost too good to wear again, but they will make an amazing statement on the field when we play on Friday night, and ultimately, I hope, raise plenty of funds to support the incredible work of the Earbus Foundation.”
Guildford Grammar School’s Indigenous Program coordinator Andrew Beck said the inclusion of the boots and entertainment at the match gives everyone the opportunity to enjoy Indigenous culture.
“For the students to have the opportunity to paint these boots, for them to add their designs and their stories to the Western Force players boots is pretty awesome for them,” Beck said.
“Our program is called ‘Boodjar Bidi’ which means country tracks in Noongar language. Our students come from various places around WA, some even from over east. They all have their own stories on why they are here at Guildford and they are adding all those elements into the design of the boots.”
Following the Indigenous Appreciation match, the boots will be donated to the Earbus Foundation for them to auction with the aim to raise much-needed funds and awareness of the charity.
The Earbus Foundation is a WA based children’s charity that works to reduce the incidence of middle ear disease in Aboriginal and at-risk children in our state. Through the Earbus Outreach Programme, a dedicated team visits thousands of children, including over 4,000 Aboriginal children each year.
The students who took part in the boot painting will also be performing as part of the pre-game entertainment at the match on Friday, May 31 at HBF Park.
Find out more about the Earbus Foundation.