Australian rugby to expand indigenous participation through Deadly 7s

by Rugby Australia

Australian Rugby today announced the launch of Deadly7s, an innovative Indigenous Rugby primary schools program that will introduce rugby to more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Delivered in partnership with the Australian Government, the new national program will align with school curriculums and reinforce positive messages of education, healthy lifestyle choices, with a strong focus on Aboriginal culture and Rugby’s core values.

The program was officially launched at Doonside Public School in Sydney's west today, with Qantas Australian Sevens Squad members Mahalia Murphy and Taleena Simon as well as ARU CEO Bill Pulver.

Mahalia Murphy, who made her Australian Sevens debut in Sao Paulo in February this year, said: "It's good to see kids involved in Deadly7s, it's a great program to get kids involved in the sport and potentially see future Australian representatives or even Olympians in action.

"I would love to see more children get involved in Rugby Sevens, especially Indigenous kids."

Schools that have at least 20% of students who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander will be eligible to secure funding to run the program at their school.

The Deadly7s program will introduce primary school students to VIVA7s - Australian Rugby’s non-contact version of Sevens – which continues to grow in popularity following the spectacular success of Rugby Sevens in the Olympic Games.

Students will also have the opportunity to compete in an inter-school VIVA7s carnival, while the Deadly7s program will provide employment opportunities with Deadly7s to be delivered by an Indigenous workforce.

ARU CEO, Bill Pulver said: “Australian Rugby is committed to reaching out to Indigenous communities as we work towards making rugby a game for all.

“Through Deadly7s, Australian Rugby will have more opportunities to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to help them develop an interest in our game. The Deadly7s program also promotes healthy lifestyles for students and emphasises the importance of education, so the benefits to communities will extend beyond the rugby field.

“The Indigenous Australian community has an important place in rugby, so we are delighted that Deadly7s will be rolled out nationally to increase Indigenous participation in our game.”