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Indigenous sporting great honoured by Storm NRL strip

Designed by his cousin and honouring his boxing legend grandfather Tony Mundine, Reimis Smith feels a very personal connection to Melbourne's  Indigenous jumper.

The Storm will wear the special strip in Friday night's NRL clash with Manly, with Smith expecting many of his Sydney-based family to be in attendance at 4 Pines Park.

With all teams donning individually designed jerseys, Indigenous round was launched in Sydney on Thursday by Marlee Silva, daughter of retired Bulldogs player Rod Silva.


The Storm's jersey was designed by Letitia Smith, a Wiradjuri Woman with Dunghutti connections and features the foot and hand prints of Melbourne's five Indigenous players among the design

"Mid last year the club approached me and asked if I had anyone who was an Indigenous painter and I thought of my cousin straight away," the centre said.

"She jumped on it straight away, excited, and that makes me excited as well as it means a bit more for me this week, wearing that jersey that my family helped design.

"I had some input as well, she asked what I thought about things and you can see my signature in the handprints and in the footprints so it makes it a bit individual."

The club chose to honour former champion Mundine, as an "Indigenous warrior and leader " by embedding an acknowledgement on the inner lining of the jersey.

"My mum is a Mundine, she's the sister of (former NRL and boxer) Anthony Mundine and Tony Mundine is my pop," Smith said.

"I'm blessed to have those kind of people in my life.

"My grandfather was an unbelievable Australian boxer and he calls me every week to wish me luck and to keep believing in myself.

"I'm blessed to have what I have and I'll never take it for granted."

Indigenous
A host of stars helped launch the NRL Indigenous Round at Maroubra Beach in Sydney on Wednesday. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)


Silva, who works as a sports reporter, said the round was special to her family.

"My dad said to me last night that he gets quite emotional at this point in the year," Silva said.

"When he was playing there wasn't an opportunity like this to see our culture spoken about in such a positive way."

Also in attendance was the league's general manager of performance and pathways Tain Drinkwater, who announced the league's second Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan.

"As the only national sporting organisation with an Elevate RAP we have embraced our role in educating and storytelling about the importance of reconciliation," Drinkwater said.

She also announced their partnership with Deadly Choices, a program by the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health that encourages healthy lifestyle choices.