Bay of Plenty Rugby Union is replacing its traditional blue and gold colours for pink this week.

The union is joining forces with local Bay of Plenty company Kitchens R Us to wear pink shirts to show support and generate awareness for Pink Shirt Day on Friday.

Led by the Mental Health Foundation, Pink Shirt Day is celebrated annually across the globe. The movement encourages everyone to work together to stop bullying by celebrating diversity and promoting social relationships.

The union will champion Pink Shirt Day's slogan – Speak up, Stand together, Stop bullying. On Friday, staff of the union will unite with Kitchens R Us staff alongside several Steamers and Volcanix players to help generate awareness for the cause.

Bay of Plenty Rugby Union chief executive officer Mike Rogers said it was essential for an organisation that had a significant profile to help create awareness of Pink Shirt Day and "play a part in leading the movement to stop bullying and spread the message on how we make our community a better place".

"It is great that we can partner with Kitchens R Us to generate awareness about the issues of bullying in our community and also celebrate diversity.

"We believe rugby and sport generally can show our community why being inclusive is so important. Sport can provide a positive environment where people can be heard, stand together and support each other as a team. These are all important values in educating our community and in particular our young people," Rogers said.