Reimis Smith Honors Family Heritage with Melbourne Storm’s Indigenous Jersey

Reimis Smith Honors Family Heritage with Melbourne Storm's Indigenous Jersey

Designed by his cousin and paying tribute to his legendary boxing grandfather Tony Mundine, Reimis Smith feels a deep personal connection to Melbourne Storm’s Indigenous jersey. Reimis Smith Honors Family Heritage with Melbourne Storm’s Indigenous Jersey

The Storm will debut the special strip during Friday night’s NRL clash against Manly, with Smith anticipating many of his Sydney-based family members to be present at 4 Pines Park.

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

The Storm’s jersey, designed by Letitia Smith, a Wiradjuri woman with Dunghutti connections, features the hand and footprints of Melbourne’s five Indigenous players integrated into 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,” Smith said. “She jumped on it immediately, and that makes me excited as it means more for me this week, wearing a jersey my family helped design.”

Smith had significant input in the design process. “You can see my signature in the handprints and the footprints, making it very individual,” he added.

The club chose to honor former champion Mundine as an “Indigenous warrior and leader” by embedding an acknowledgment on the jersey’s inner lining.

“My mum is a Mundine, she’s the sister of (former NRL and boxer) Anthony Mundine, and Tony Mundine is my pop,” Smith said. “My grandfather was an unbelievable Australian boxer, and he calls me every week to wish me luck and to keep believing in myself.”

Marlee Silva, who works as a sports reporter, highlighted the round’s special significance 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 organization with an Elevate RAP, we have embraced our role in educating and storytelling about the importance of reconciliation,” Drinkwater said.

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

With these initiatives and the special jersey, the Indigenous round continues to celebrate and honor Indigenous culture and contributions to the sport.

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