The National Rugby League (NRL) has today launched Multicultural Round 2023, an annual celebration of the diverse cultural backgrounds that make up the Rugby League community.
Multicultural Round returns as the first themed round of the NRL Telstra Premiership season. The round’s central message is “Stronger Together” – recognising, respecting and celebrating diverse cultural heritage at all levels of the game.
In the NRL, players represent 63 different national heritages, with almost a third of players (29%) born outside Australia and half (51%) having at least one parent born overseas. Forty-five percent of players identify as Pasifika, while ten percent identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.
The NRLW playing group features a quarter of players (25%) born outside of Australia and 60% with at least one parent born overseas, and a total of 32 different national heritages represented. It’s a similar picture at grassroots, where a third of players and volunteers (33%) have a parent born overseas.
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said: “Our players, fans, staff and volunteers all reflect a diversity of cultures. Whether you’re on the field, in the stands, or in the community, you have a home in Rugby League, no matter your background or where you come from.
“Multicultural Round gives everyone involved in the game an opportunity to celebrate their culture and learn about the cultures of others.”
During Multicultural Round, the NRL is encouraging every member of the NRL community to bring a flag or wear their cultural dress or colours to games.
Each NRL game across the round will celebrate multiculturalism in ways that are unique to each home club and community, with players and fans having opportunities to show their colours and celebrate their cultures throughout the week and on game day.