The AFL Umpiring team has unveiled its 2019 Sir Doug Nicholls Round AFL umpire shirt ahead of the AFL’s dedicated Round this weekend.
All AFL umpires will wear the dedicated shirt that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Round 10 and 11.
Unveiled at Worawa Aboriginal College’s annual Reconciliation Sports Carnival on Tuesday, the shirt marks the third occasion AFL umpires will wear a uniform that acknowledges the contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have made to our game.
The 2019 Sir Doug Nicholls Round AFL Umpire shirt is a collaboration of two separate pieces of artwork designed by current Worawa Aboriginal College student Rose Archie and former student Zephaniah Neil.
Originally hailing from Bulla in the Northern Territory, 17-year-old Rose Archie is a Year 11 art student who came to Worawa College three years ago.
Rose’s artwork of the black whip snake which spans across the middle of the umpire shirt symbolises the Aboriginal culture and was inspired by her 5-year-old nephew whose totem is a snake.
Fifteen-year-old former Worawa College student Zephaniah Neil is the artist behind the turtles which appear on the shoulder of the umpire shirt. Her design - which was also featured on the 2018 AFL Umpires shirt - represents water, turtles and the Torres Strait Island communities.
The unveiling of the 2019 Sir Doug Nicholls Round umpire shirt comes as the AFL announces Project Clothing will remain as the official apparel partner of the AFL Umpires.
The partnership extension will see all AFL Umpires wear Project Clothing apparel until 2022 with the Australian-owned company providing high quality on and off field umpiring apparel to umpires across all levels around the country.
Head of Umpiring Grant Williams said the AFL is pleased to grow the partnership with Project Clothing for a further four years.
“Project Clothing have been the Official Apparel Partner for the AFL Umpires since 2017 and we are thrilled they now extend that commitment to 2022,” Mr. Williams said.
“In addition to providing apparel for our elite umpires, the partnership will now extend to the grassroots level with community-based and state-league umpires set to wear the same apparel as AFL umpires.”
Managing Director of Project Clothing, Graeme Clarke, said the partnership was an exciting opportunity.
“We value the relationship with the AFL umpires highly – todays umpires need a range of technical clothing to perform at their best and we will continue to work with the AFL to deliver this,” Mr. Clarke said.
“Supporting the wider umpiring community is also a key goal for Project and we will continue to invest in the program from the grassroots through to the elite level”.
PHOTO: AFL Umpires Chelsea Roffey and Matthew Tomkins wear the 2019 Sir Doug Nicholls Round umpire shirt. Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos