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'Their excitement meant so much': Bird reflects on 10 years of DSQ run out

The Gold Coast Titans and Down Syndrome Queensland will proudly celebrate their 10th year of partnership when the annual run out takes place this weekend.

First beginning in 2014 when the Titans famously beat the Broncos at home, 26 participants will join the Gold Coast and Roosters in helping lead out the two sides ahead of Saturday's Round 21 battle.

Making the decade even more special will be the chance for DSQ participants to wear capes when they run out as part of Super Hero Saturday at Cbus Super Stadium, all thanks to Warner Bros. Movie World.

Greg Bird joined Down Syndrome Queensland at Warner Bros. Movie World to celebrate 10 years of partnership.
Greg Bird joined Down Syndrome Queensland at Warner Bros. Movie World to celebrate 10 years of partnership.

Celebrating the important milestone on Thursday with Down Syndrome Queensland and former Titan Greg Bird, the 316-game star was proud to see the continued growth of the initiative after getting the chance to be part of the first three run-outs.

"The kids are always so excited and the players are so excited because the kids are so excited… it’s like a grand final for these guys when they get to run out and wave to the crowd. I swear they could go out and take the kick off and have a run in the game, they’re that into the game and running out," Bird said.

"It’s a great experience and it was so good to be involved early on."

"It might’ve just been another game for us when we ran out, but when you looked next to us and it was a little kid with so much excitement in their eyes and and their face with that big smile, it instantly made us realise it meant so much more to so many other people.

"To give these kids the chance to come out of the tunnel and run out to a screaming crowd at Cbus Super Stadium, it’s an exciting experience for them and for us as players to be able to share it with them."

Titans Together & DSQ Runout celebrate 10 years

Down Syndrome Queensland board member Cally Ward is proud to have continued the partnership with the Titans over the past decade and is excited to expand on it in its 10th season.

"It's been an amazing journey and we have a wonderful relationship with the Titans. The club has been absolutely fabulous to us and we are proud to continue the run-out in now our 10th year," she said.

"We are also really excited this year to be part of the 50-50 raffle, which is the first time doing this.

"All of our ticket sellers will have an intellectual disability and even feature graduates of our annual run-out. 

"It's really important for their growth to have to address a member of the public and have to talk to them and explain what 50/50 is and then she has to do the transaction on the iPad.

"It's going to be amazing and I'm just so proud that we are able to this as well as the run-out this year."

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.