The NSW Rugby League’s 50th annual Koori Knockout Carnival is fast approaching and the long-awaited return of the popular event has received a financial boost from the State Government
A $150,000 gold sponsorship will help organizers at Shoalhaven stage the first knockout since COVID-19 hit our shores.
South Coast Black Cockatoos CEO Melissa Wellington said the team was the first winner of the Koori Knockout on the South Coast.
“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.
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South Coast member Shelley Hancock said: “The competition is expected to draw 30,000 players and spectators from across NSW.”
It takes place over the long weekend from Friday 30th September to Monday 3rd October at Rugby Park Sports Fields and Bomaderry Sporting Complex.
“It’s fantastic that the South Coast Black Cockatoos, as reigning champions, are 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,” said Ms Hancock.
Canterbury Bulldogs winger Josh Addo-Carr will be one of many Aboriginal NRL players to line up at this year’s Koori Knockout at the end of their season.
“My first knockout 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,” Addo-Carr said.
“The Koori Knockout hasn’t been played in recent 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 families from NSW and Queensland together.”
St. George Illawarra Dragons NRL player Tyrell Fuimaono said he was a big fan of the knockout and will be playing in this year’s tournament as well.
“It’s probably the biggest gathering of Aboriginal people of any event, sporting or otherwise, all year and plays a huge role in bringing everyone together from across the state to rally teams and families for a great rugby league and also a connection to Aboriginal people. to represent the community. ‘ Mr Fuimaono 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,” said Mr Henskens.
NSW Minister for Land and Water and Minister for Hospitality and Racing Kevin Anderson said the event brings people together and is an opportunity to learn more about initiatives that support the community.
“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,” said Mr Anderson.
“In addition to football and family, it will be an opportunity to get involved in initiatives that support indigenous people through career, health and housing programs.
“The Koori Knockout has historically brought together some of the best and most exciting NRL players including Latrell Mitchell, Josh Addo-Carr, Andrew Fifita, Greg Inglis, Cody Walker and many other stars of the game. More importantly, it’s a chance for local players to mingle with them and show they can take on the big guns.”