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Boots For Brighter Futures Returns for 2022

A number of Sydney Roosters players will wear specially designed boots this week in the NRL’s Indigenous Round through the Boots for Brighter Futures campaign. 

Seven pairs of boots were specially designed by young Indigenous artists, and through Cultural Choices Association, will be up for auction in a bid to raise money for suicide prevention in Indigenous communities.  

The young artists not only looked to add a personal flair to the boots but catered to their respective players, adding motifs centring around heritage, culture and family.

Joseph Manu’s boots, designed by Brayden Skuthorpe from the Murrawarri tribe in Brewarrina, incorporated designs inspired by Manu’s Māori and Cook Islander heritage, while James Tedesco’s Italian heritage was represented through red, white and green dot paintings by Rome Toomey of Dubbo.

Ahliyah Toomey was inspired by her cultural identity in designing Sam Walker’s boots, while fellow Wiradjuri woman Shanay Fahey combined her own culture and totem – the goanna – with the Papua New Guinean flag for Lachlan Lam’s boots.

Allan Middleton and Ralph Binge, two young Kamilaroi men, were tasked with designing the boots of Angus Crichton and Lindsay Collins respectively, with Allan’s art featuring his parents’ totems and designs representing Aboriginal lands and waters, with Ralph’s design illustrating his journey from country and coast as well as the Red, White and Blue of the Roosters.

Although he will not take the field on Saturday, the boots dedicated to Sam Verrills feature the initials of his late brother in a heartwarming tribute, with the design curated by Ngemba woman Jalyah Boney.

Future Artists: Students got together to create their own designs for Roosters players to represent.
Future Artists: Students got together to create their own designs for Roosters players to represent.

Upon receiving his boots, Crichton was thrilled with the final product and the chance to step onto the field wearing the designs. 

"I think it's great to represent the kids that have put the work in," he said.

"It's a cool initiative to give them something to look forward to and put their artwork on show and it clearly shows that they did their research.

"Joey Manu's has the Māori and Cook Islander flag and the same goes with Lachy Lam's with the Papua New Guinean flag.

"It's an honour to be able to put them on Saturday night." 

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.