For the third consecutive season, the Canberra Raiders major sponsor Huawei will forego their usual placement on the front of the Raiders jersey, in order to raise awareness for #AutismWellbeing and money for the Ricky Stuart Foundation.
In 2017 the equivalent game day promotion raised over $41,000 through match-day fundraising initiatives and an online jersey auction of the player worn jerseys. This year, Huawei and the Raiders are hoping to exceed that amount.
The match worn jersey's will once again be auctioned through www.allbids.com.au post-match.
In an extra special touch, the Raiders official on-field apparel partner, ISC, has pledged their support to the program, by donating 10% of the wholesale Price on retail produced jerseys to the fundraising efforts.
This year's jersey features designs from two 10-year old girls (Kayla Marlow and Neve Smith) who entered an online competition during the pre-season. The jersey will be worn by the players against the Sydney Roosters on Sunday.
Kayla's design which shows community members working together to build a puzzle, featured on the front of the jersey, symbolises the community building acceptance and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder, through a team effort.
Neve's design, depicts the community as stick figures to emphasise our similarities, rather than our differences. This is accompanied by a quote close to the heart of Ricky Stuart and the foundation "Don't look away, just smile" urging us to challenge ourselves and accept everyone as they are.
Huawei Manager of Corporate Relations, Lisa Connors, said Huawei were proud to once again give up the front of jersey position for a wonderful cause and hoped to raise as much money and awareness to assist in the ongoing support of community housing for people with disabilities.
"This year's jersey designed by 10-year olds Kayla and Neve, demonstrates a wider understanding within the community and how we can all come together in support of others." Ms Connors said.
"It's Huawei's fifth-year of giving up our placement on the front of the Raiders jersey and the third for the Ricky Stuart Foundation, collectively raising over $80,000 for these causes and it's an achievement we are really proud of.
"In 2017 we set a fundraising record and we are keen to exceed that number this year. With funds raised going to the ongoing support of community housing for people with disabilities we would urge everyone to get behind the cause and help make a difference to families who need it most."
Raiders Coach, and Director of the Ricky Stuart Foundation, Ricky Stuart, thanked Huawei for their continued support of both the special matchday and the jersey initiative.
"Huawei have shown continued and sustained support for the Ricky Stuart Foundation over a number of years and to have the Foundation and #AutsimWellbeing message feature on the Raiders jersey again this season is a wonderful way to showcase this support," Stuart said. "It's gestures and fundraising like this that have helped us to open the second respite care facility here in Canberra in the Emma Ruby House, and we can't thank them enough for their continued support.
"I'd also like to make mention of ISC for their generous donation of jersey proceeds and encourage as many people to purchase this year's wonderful jersey which has been designed magnificently by two very special young ladies Kayla and Neve."
Members and fans attending the match are encouraged to use the Hashtag #HuaweiHelpingAus on Social Media wearing this year's jersey, with a reason why they are supporting this year's program. The aim is to use the hashtag to further drive awareness and personalise each person's story.