Samples of the new NRLA kits
[/captionThe Nigeria Rugby League Association (NRLA), in collaboration with Canterbury of New Zealand, has acquired a new kit for its teams. The new kit, designed by fashion designer Ugo Mozie, according to NRLA, unites sport with popular culture.
NRLA was founded in 2018 by former professional rugby league stars, Ade Adebisi and Martin Crawford (O.B.E).
Creative design executive, the social activist and celebrity fashion designer and stylist, Ugo Mozie, provided the creative inspiration behind the new rugby kit.
NRLA disclosed that Canterbury will produce the kits, “allowing all teams in the NRLA to access the same world-class rugby technology as the most elite players in the sport and helping level the playing field for grassroots teams.”
A statement by the association disclosed that the body is celebrating, among others, its new status as an affiliate member of the International Rugby league (IRL), triumph in Middle East Africa (MEA) Rugby League, the launch of the NRLA Women League, youth development programme in schools and desire to qualify for the 2025 World Cup.
Mozie, who collaborated with his sister, a contemporary African artist and energy healer, Adaobi, in designing the kit, said: “The opportunity to design the NRLA jersey is an honour and blessing. As a Nigerian-born and an American-raised creative, my dream has always been to be able to use my talent to create things that can show different sides of my country and highlight our incredibly rich history and present. I am excited for the world to see my team soar to the top of the game in style.
“The aesthetic was inspired by our distinct ability to shape our future using the wisdom of our past and the radiant energy of our present.”
He added: “The Nsidibi symbols found on the shorts are an ancient and sacred writing system that was developed in South-Eastern Nigeria several millennia ago. On the shorts, you will see Victory, Strength, Pride, And Courage written in Nsidibi. The colours and the design pattern represent the prosperous and united future of the people of Nigeria.”
Ahead of the kit launch this month, Chairman/General Manager, NRLA, Ade Adebisi, said, “We want to introduce a new audience to Rugby League and fashion is a versatile tool to do so.
“When I reached out to Ugo, being such a visionary, he sought to make an impact with the kit by showcasing Nigeria and our rich heritage with authentic and contemporary designs.
With the success of our last international outing, we know we’re on the right course. We are very excited about the new kit and appreciate Canterbury for joining us on this incredible journey.”
NRLA Head of Performance and former professional rugby player, Bolu Fagborun, who played a huge role in securing the partnership with Canterbury, says: “I think that the range of designs will create a buzz on and off the field to help capture the imagination of sporting audiences globally.”
Also speaking on the kit, Account Manager at Canterbury, Ian Watkinson, Said: “Canterbury is made from Rugby and we are proud to partner with Nigeria Rugby League (NRL) to continue our long and rich association with elite level rugby.
“Alongside our supply specialists, Hardgear Teamwear, and designer Ugo Mozie, we have collaborated to create a completely bespoke range that is both fashionable and meaningful to fans of the Nigerian Rugby League and available in market-leading men’s, women’s and junior ranges.”