The Melbourne Rebels and UNICEF Australia have joined forces to raise awareness of the issues facing children and young people in Australia, the Pacific and around the world.
As the 2019 Super Rugby season kicks off, the two organisations are recognising the vital role that sport plays in connecting individuals and communities and promoting the well-being of children and young people.
“We are very proud to use our global reach to be raising awareness of UNICEF’s work to help some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children to ensure they have a fair chance in life,” said Melbourne Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson.
“In particular, we know that UNICEF is committed to improving the quality of life for children in the Pacific Islands through several programs. With more than two-thirds of our elite men’s and women’s squads being of Pacific Island heritage, which is very representative of Victorian Rugby participants, UNICEF’s work is especially relevant to the Rebels and to our community. Over the course of the year we are looking forward to taking up the opportunity for our players to visit the Pacific and contribute to this work first hand.”
Children across the region have told UNICEF that some of the biggest issues they are dealing with include uncertain futures, access to a quality education and the impact of gender-based violence. Within Australia, the devastating impact of the drought on children’s well-being is also a vital issue.
“This is an important opportunity to shine a light on some of the most pressing issues facing children in Australia and the Pacific,” said UNICEF Australia CEO Tony Stuart.
“We welcome this opportunity to align with the Melbourne Rebels to ensure that the voices of our next generation are heard and that children are supported to achieve their full potential."
The UNICEF Australia logo will be featured on the front of the players’ jerseys for the early part of the 2019 Super Rugby season, with engagement continuing throughout the season.
About Melbourne Rebels
The Melbourne Rebels are the only professional Rugby Union franchise in Victoria with elite Men’s and Women’s teams.
The Melbourne Rebels Men play in the Super Rugby competition which features 15 teams from Argentina, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa. The Melbourne Rebels Women play in the Super-W competition between five Australian teams. For more information about the Melbourne Rebels, visit www.melbournerebels.com
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.