The Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars trophy will carry the name of Arthur Beetson as one of a number of tributes to the late rugby league legend.
Minister for Sport and Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Senator the Hon Mark Arbib said the Federal Government would also sponsor two $5,000 education/training scholarships in honour of the rugby league and indigenous champion who spent a lifetime nurturing and developing the talents of young Australians.
Players in the 2012 Harvey Norman All Stars at the Gold Coast on February 4 will also wear jerseys carrying a tribute to Arthur’s sporting and cultural leadership (this will not be offered for commercial sale).
“There isn’t a player in the game who would not be honoured to hold a trophy bearing Arthur’s name and given his contribution to developing talent and promoting indigenous culture there would seem no more fitting occasion to recognise his many achievements than the All Stars,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said today.
“One of Arthur’s great passions was discovering and developing talent on and off the field and we are delighted that the Federal Government has also moved to recognise his legacy.”
Senator Arbib announced the Federal Government would sponsor two "Learn Earn Legend!" scholarships in Beetson’s name for an indigenous boy and girl.
“Arthur Beetson was not only a legendary player and coach but a man who was dedicated to providing opportunities for young people on and off the field, particularly kids in the bush,” Senator Arbib said.
“The "Learn Earn Legend!" programs which are synonymous with the All Stars are aimed at building champions in life and Artie will always be an inspiration in that quest.”
Further details of the scholarships will be announced in the coming week.
Plans are already being formulated for tributes within the 2012 All Stars week to allow fans and players alike to celebrate their memories of Arthur.
Leading players including Preston Campbell have made it clear they will see the event as an emotional tribute to a true leader.
“Amid the sadness everyone feels today, everyone will want to celebrate Arthur’s contribution to rugby league and to indigenous communities during the All Stars week,” NRL Director of Marketing and Commercial, Mr Paul Kind, said today.
“All players and fans will be given the opportunity to remember and celebrate Arthur.”