Assistant Minister for Health Pru Goward and the NSW Rugby League last night announced the winners of the first round of the statewide Knockout Health Challenge, which is tackling obesity in Aboriginal communities.

NSW Blues coach Laurie Daley and NSWRL CEO David Trodden teamed up with Minister Goward at Rugby League Central to congratulate the winners of the George Rose Challenge:

·         First – Eurobodalla Scale Busters (Batemans Bay)

·         Second – Healthy, Black and Deadly (Newcastle)

·         Third – Dead or Deadly (Nowra).

 

Mr Daley applauded all 33 teams that participated in this year’s George Rose Challenge for making a commitment to themselves and their teams to lose weight and improve their health.

“The winning teams did a great job of meeting their exercise program targets and milestones to achieve their goal of an average weight loss of three per cent,” Mr Daley said.

“This is a team effort that not only results in better health for each participant but raises community awareness of the benefits of physical exercise and nutrition to combat obesity and life threatening diseases.

“Just like rugby league this is about striving to do your best and achieve results that benefit your whole team and your community.”

Minister Goward said: “The winners of the first stage of the 2015 Knockout Challenge – the George Rose Challenge – have shown that through commitment and a team approach it is possible to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

“People who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and associated diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis and reproductive problems. Poor diet and physical inactivity also contribute to coronary heart disease.”

In NSW, 57 per cent of Aboriginal people are overweight or obese compared to 52 percent of non-Aboriginal people.

The annual Knockout Challenge is a joint initiative of NSW Health and NSW Rugby League, which invites Aboriginal communities to participate in a fun and effective program to lose weight. Teams of at least 20 participants can enter the George Rose or Julie Young Challenges, setting their own exercise program targets and milestones with the aim of reducing their average team weight loss. The Kyle Saunders Challenge is also open to teams to design a three minute workout video that demonstrates teamwork, strength, stamina and rugby league skills.

“More than 800 people from communities across NSW are participating in this year’s Knockout Challenge,” Minister Goward said. “Weight loss at this level can lead to a 30 per cent reduction in risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”

Knockout Challenge participants can receive support from a free confidential health coaching telephone service, the Get Healthy Service, which helps people to set goals, maintain motivation, and receive further information and advice on physical activity, healthy eating and healthy weight.

Anyone can join the Get Healthy Service by calling 1300 806 258 or visiting www.gethealthynsw.com.au to register online. For more information on the Aboriginal Knockout Health Challenge go to: www.facebook.com/nswknockoutchallenge.