Wednesday, April 24, 2024

NSW Govt backs Koori Knockout

The NSW Government has announced its support of the 2023 NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Koori Knockout through a major sponsorship package.

This year’s event will be hosted by the Newcastle All Blacks (NAB) Aboriginal Rugby League team at Tuggerah on the Central Coast over the long weekend, from 29 September to 2 October, bringing together amateur players through to NRL stars across men’s, women’s and junior competitions. 

NSW Minister for Sport, Steve Kamper said the Government was proud to be a major sponsor of the NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Koori Knockout, which is one of the largest gatherings of First Nations people in the country. 

“The Koori Knockout is a major Australian sporting and cultural event combining the best of rugby league with a community celebration of Aboriginal kinship,” said Minister Kamper.

“Government backing of the Knockout is part of the ongoing strategy to better serve NSW Aboriginal communities and advance their collective aspirations through meaningful and ongoing relationships.” 

The sponsorship, which follows the gold sponsorship of the women’s competition last year, will provide opportunities for participating agencies to engage with Aboriginal communities on relevant programs and services, Mr Kamper said.

NSW Government Ministers, including David Harris and Kate Washington, will also attend the event. 

“The Knockout is so much more than a rugby league competition – it’s a celebration of culture, connections and community,” said Minister Washington.

Minister Harris said he was proud that this year’s Knockout was being held on the Central Coast.

“I can’t wait to see the children, young people and families at the Knockout, being inspired by the largest rugby league knockout carnival anywhere in the world.” 

“The estimated 200,000 spectators will get to enjoy time with mob in our wonderful community while bringing a welcome boost to the local economy to the tune of $6 million.” 

“I’m looking forward to taking part in what is affectionately known as NSW’s modern-day corroboree.

“We welcome all the visitors from across the State which will inject significant economic benefit to our community,” he said.

The Koori Knockout dates back to 1971 when the first tournament was held at St Peters, bringing Aboriginal players together to highlight their abilities for potential talent scouts. 

Over the past 52 years the Knockout has grown into a highly professional event attracting amateur through to NRL players and drawing Aboriginal people from all over NSW in an annual celebration of football, family and community. 

This year, more than 30,000 people are expected to attend the carnival, supporting more than 130 teams and providing a major boost for Central Coast businesses. 

“The NSW Government’s backing of the Knockout will have significant flow on effects for local communities and participating league clubs,” said NAB Chairman, Edward Smith. 

“We are proud to partner with the Government. The support will allow us to ensure we put on the best event possible for the teams, their supporters and all our spectators. 

“NAB has a long and proud history of supporting mob as a not-for-profit organisation, as well as assisting local Aboriginal people and communities to improve their general wellbeing, socio-economic standing, health, education, and encourage community building cultural and spiritual values. 

“We develop and maintain opportunities for local Aboriginal people to excel in their chosen fields and the Government’s investment will go a long way in supporting this important work,” Mr Smith said.

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