HUDDERSFIELD Giants fans have been handed the chance to buy their new replica shirt at a discounted price – and donate to a worthwhile cause at the same time.
The Super League club has teamed up with one of its major partners, Bond It, and Giants legend Stanley Gene to launch a shirt amnesty.
Under the scheme, fans will be able to drop off old replica playing shirts, of all ages and sizes, in return for a £10 discount towards a new 2013 replica home playing shirt, which is to be launched later in the year.
Furthermore, as part of the 2013 season-ticket package, fans will receive an additional £5 discount, meaning ticket holders could get a new shirt for £15 off the normal price.
The Giants and Bond It will then work with The Stanley Gene Foundation to ship the old shirts to the former Giants legend’s home of Papua New Guinea, where RL shirts will be handed out to deprived people from the island nation.
The highly-popular Gene, who played for the Giants between 2001 and 2005, plans to officially launch his foundation in the next few months.
But he had already linked up with DW Sports to send several containers packed with old clothing and equipment to PNG every year, while his main aim is to eventually create enough funds to build an academy of sport in PNG.
Gene has first-hand experience of the challenging living conditions in his native country, and at one time struggled for water himself.
But last year he helped to create a facility to supply fresh water to 1,200 people and he knows the fans’ shirt donations will massively help his people.
“The people are very humble and I want to help them,” said Gene.
“The shirts won’t bring water, but the shirts will make a huge difference.
“I used to wear no boots when I was young. I remember tying plastic bags in a ball with elastic bands and using it as a rugby ball.
“I have seen kids climbing up trees to watch rugby in PNG, so I know the fans’ shirts will make a huge difference.
“I was brought up the hard way and I want to give something back. It makes me happy when I see the kids with a smile on their face.”
David Moore, the managing director of Bond It added: “Here at Bond It,we were looking for a way in which we could use our partnership with the Giants to not only give something back to their supporters but also offer support to the wider rugby league community.
“Personally, I am a huge League fan and I know what the sport has to offer, not just as a fun activity and day out but also a way of bringing communities together and breaking through barriers.
“This I believe is also very close to Bond It’s values.
“It brings immense pride that we can facilitate this wonderful activity and are excited to be working closely with Stanley and the Giants.
“We urge all of the Claret and Gold faithful to support this project as there will be benefits for all involved.”
Gene is currently coaching the Under 19s at Hull KR, but has promised Bond It MD David Moore a trip to his home in PNG to show him exactly how much the donations are benefiting the foundation.