The NSWRL will celebrate the growing diversity and inclusiveness of the game when it brings together 27 heritage groups, 80 teams and 1200 players for the annual Harmony 9s tournament at Albion Park this weekend.
The two-day event at Croom Regional Sporting Complex will showcase 134 games across two days including Under 16s and Under 18s boys and girls, Open Age Men and Women, Emerging Nation Open Men, Mixed League Tag, and a Physical Disability Exhibition Match.
In a further boost for fans, Harmony 9s will be broadcast live and free on NSWRL TV, the dedicated channel for all NSWRL matches and content on the NSWRL Facebook page.
The heritage teams are allocated into two pools and play nine-a-side matches and 16-minute halves, with the top-seeded teams at the end of the pool games progressing to the finals.
“The Harmony 9s tournament is one of the highlights on the Community Rugby League calendar as it provides an opportunity for heritage groups to celebrate their culture while enjoying a game of Rugby League,” NSW Community Rugby League Manager Peter Clarke said.
“Some of the heritage groups involved have already begun their Rugby League journey, while others including Ukraine and Syria, are beginning for the first time this weekend.
“The cultural exchanges are a real highlight of the event and I invite all Rugby League fans to come down to see them.
“I also extend a warm welcome to all heritage groups, participants and volunteers taking part and look forward to the action over the next two days with all games to be played in the right spirit.”
The heritage groups involved this weekend include Africa United Lions, Cambodia, Chile, Fiji-Australia, Italy, Ireland Australia, Latin Heat, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malta, Mediterranean Rugby League, NSW First Nations Indigenous, NSW Maori, NSW Niue, NSW Tonga, Ozzy Cooks, Pasifika, Philippines, Poland-Australia, NSW Samoa, Sudanese Buffaloes, Syria, Thailand Naga, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam.
Harmony 9s began in 2009 with the aim of increasing Rugby League participation in multicultural communities across the state, as well as encouraging stronger understanding and harmony through Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) groups.
The tournament was temporarily suspended from 2019-2021, largely because of the disruptions caused to community sport by the COVID pandemic, but returned to the NSWRL calendar last year.
Tickets are only $5, while pensioners and children under 12 are free. Click here to pre-purchase tickets.