30-thousand heading to Nowra for Koori Knockout

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Some of rugby league’s biggest names travel to the south coast for the NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout Carnival.

Players like Latrell Mitchell, Josh Addo-Carr, Andrew Fifita, Greg Inglis and Cody Walker have all played in the Koori Knockout in the past.

Addo-Carr has confirmed he will be attending this year’s event alongside Dragons player Tyrell Fuimaono when the event takes place at Nowra’s Rugby Park and Bomaderry Sporting Complex from September 30th to October 3rd.

To ensure the event’s success, the state government onboarded $150,000 in sponsorship.

Hospitality and Racing Minister Kevin Anderson said the event brings Aboriginal people together and is an opportunity to learn more about initiatives that support the community.

“More importantly, it’s a chance for local players to showcase themselves and show they can take on the big guns,” he said.

“The NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout is a great showcase for sporting talent, but it’s also about friendship and family, bringing Aboriginal communities together in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

“As well as football and family, it will be an opportunity to get involved with initiatives that support Aboriginal people, from career, health and housing programs,” Mr Anderson said.

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Sports Minister Alister Henskens said the Koori Knockout was one of the biggest Indigenous events in Australia.

“The competition is one of Aboriginal people’s premier sporting events and will bring real excitement to the community while also providing a welcome boost to many local businesses through tourism-related spending,” he said.

South Coast member Shelley Hancock said the Koori Knockout is a great initiative and the community looks forward to welcoming NSW Aboriginal footballers.

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“It’s fantastic that the South Coast Black Cockatoos, as reigning champions, will be able to defend their title on their home turf while also hosting the 50th anniversary of this legendary competition which attracts one of Australia’s largest gatherings of Aboriginal people,” she said.

“30,000 players and spectators from across NSW are expected to attend the competition, which will be played at Rugby Park Sports Fields and the Bomaderry Sporting Complex over the long weekend from Friday 30 September to Monday 3 October.”

South Coast Black Cockatoos CEO Melissa Wellington said the team was the first winner of the Koori Knockout on the South Coast.

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“It’s going to bring a lot of first-time visitors to the south coast, which is great for the whole community,” Ms Wellington said.

Canterbury Bulldogs winger Josh Addo-Carr is one of a number of Aboriginal NRL players set to end their season in this year’s Koori Knockout.

“My first KO experience meant a lot to me. My father and family assembled a team to commemorate and celebrate my cousin’s life. I was only 15 at the time and it was my first time playing against men,” said Mr. Addo-Carr.

“The Koori Knockout hasn’t been played for the last few years due to COVID and it’s the 50th anniversary so it’s going to be a very special year. It’s a very special week for everyone involved; an annual event that brings NSW and Queensland families together.”

St. George Illawarra Dragons player Tyrell Fuimaono said he is a big fan of the Koori Knockout and will be participating in this year’s tournament.

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“It is probably the largest gathering of Aboriginal people of any event, sporting or otherwise, throughout the year and plays a huge part in bringing everyone together from across the state to celebrate teams and families for a great rugby league and also for connecting the Aboriginal community to represent. said Mr. Fuimaono.

Images: NSW Government

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