The Sharks NRL squad will run out wearing a specially-designed Kokoda jersey when they play the Canberra Raiders at Southern Cross Group Stadium in round 19.
In recognition of the diggers who fought and sacrificed on the Kokoda Track in 1942 and the Papua New Guinea Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels who supported and protected them, the jersey features some significant words and images, in a powerful message of gratitude for those involved in the military and the infamous World War II campaign.
And in the second year of the club wearing a uniquely-designed jersey, the Kokoda Challenge match against the Raiders and in supporting the Kokoda Track campaign, the jersey will be available for purchase as a special keepsake for Sharks members and fans.
A set of match-worn and signed Kokoda jerseys will also be auctioned following the game on July 20.
As for the jersey design, high on the sternum, as displayed and engraved in stone monuments at the Isurava memorial overlooking the Kokoda Track, are the core values of Endurance, Sacrifice, Courage and Mateship, words which have a deep and significant meaning.
The front and back jersey images highlight the dense jungle in which the diggers fought, while the 25 Companies and Battalions involved in the Kokoda Campaign, which took place from July to November of 1942, are all listed on the lower back in a mark of respect for their brave actions and the selfless sacrifices they made.
The jersey top of back features both the Australian and PNG flags.
The Kokoda Jersey is a continuation of the relationship being formed by the Sharks and the Kokoda Track Foundation, with a delegation from the club walking the track last October, while also installing solar lighting to extremely appreciative villages along the way.
Another Kokoda Track expedition is planned to take place following the current NRL season, with more information to be provided at a later date as to how members and fans will be provided an opportunity to join the travelling party.
The Sharks also thank the Canberra Raiders for their support in continuing the tradition and for playing in and acknowledging the Kokoda Challenge match, which will be contested between the two clubs for a second season in 2018.
Limited stocks of the Sharks Kokoda Jersey will be available, with pre-sale order now being taken. The Sharks store will be the only place to purchase women's and children's sizes.
To order your Kokoda Jersey, go to the following link – CLICK HERE