Underlining their commitment to the campaign against violence against women and girls, Georgia’s Lelos will wear UN Women-branded jerseys in the upcoming series against the Springboks.

Following the example of world-famous UNICEF partners Barcelona F.C, the Lelos have declined offers from traditional sponsors and decided to use two of the most high-profile matches in their history to promote a good cause instead.

In a statement, Georgia Rugby Union president Ioseb Tkemaladze said: “We decided to transform these long-awaited matches into a global message. We intentionally turned down sponsors’ funding to continue to support our historical partner in social programmes UN Women, now from the global perspective.

“With this statement, we would like to tell the whole world that ‘the cause of ending violence against women and girls is more than any game’.

“Rugby values are to support each other and share the greater good via positive emotions of the game, for everyone. In continuation of this spirit, we are passing a global message to our planet – Georgian Rugby supports UN Women!”

Longstanding support

This is not the first time Georgian rugby has lent their support to tackling this issue.

When hosting the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2017, Georgia’s players toured the country promoting the HeForShe campaign, the UN solidarity movement for gender equality.

Voicing his support for the latest initiative, Georgia captain Merab Sharikadze said: “We are honoured to be involved once again in the campaign for supporting gender equality and raising awareness against violence against women and girls.”

“We will take part in the most important games of the summer tests with this message.”

Lelos head coach Levan Maisashvili was also pleased that the Lelos are playing their part in tackling this global issue.

“We are glad to be given the opportunity to play such important test matches with this logo,” he said.

“Violence against women is a worldwide problem, and we are joining the global campaign against it now.

“Wearing the logo of UN Women instead of the main sponsor’s logo is an important message for supporting women’s rights.”

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