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NSW Blues coach and newly crowned Ambassador of the fifth NSW Knockout Health Challenge, Laurie Daley, has urged Aboriginal communities to take action in the fight against obesity.

Daley and fellow newcomers David Peachey, Paul Davis and Nathan Merritt will team-up with regular NSW Knockout Health Challenge Ambassadors George Rose, Kyle Saunders, Julie-Anne Young and Ronny Gibbs, to promote the annual event, with registration packs now available online.

A joint initiative of NSW Health and New South Wales Rugby League, the NSW Knockout Health Challenge is a primary prevention program that aims to engage Aboriginal communities to target NSW Health priorities of physical activity and obesity.

“Whether you are an elite athlete, like one of the NSW Blues Origin players, or a participant in the NSW Knockout Health Challenge, the benefits of being healthy and active are enormous and I encourage all the participants to enjoy the journey,” Daley said.

The Challenge consists of four stages throughout the year and are appropriately named after four Ambassadors – George Rose Challenge, Kyle Saunders Video Challenge, Julie Young Challenge and the Ronny Gibbs “Above the Line” Challenge.

Starting in April, the participants will team up with other members of their community to lose weight. Teams can also create their own active fitness/exercise video.

In 2015, more than 1200 NSW Aboriginal people across 38 teams took part in the Challenge, with a combined weight loss of 2700 kilograms.

Professor Chris Rissel, Director of NSW Office of Preventive Health, said he was pleased to partner with NSWRL, confident of achieving greater success this year.

“The NSW Office of Preventive Health is looking forward to working with New South Wales Rugby League for the fifth year of the NSW Knockout Health Challenge,” Rissel said.
“We are hoping to build on the excellent results of previous years and have more Aboriginal communities involved to get active and improve their eating habits, to reduce their risk factors for chronic disease.

"We're delighted to have our Ambassadors involved and keen to motivate teams participating in this year's events.”
Challenge 1 (George Rose Challenge) will run for 10 weeks, from 4 April, before the Video Challenge (Kyle Saunders Video Challenge) takes place in June. Challenge 2 kicks off 4 July, while the Ronny Gibbs “Above the Line” Challenge runs throughout the year.

NSWRL is committed to making a difference in the community and Chief Operating Officer Stuart Clark believes the Challenge will again help many Aboriginal people in their quest to a better lifestyle.

"The New South Wales Rugby League is very proud to partner with NSW Health in this life-changing program, the 2016 NSW Knockout Health Challenge, which has helped hundreds of people in numerous communities throughout the state to change behaviours and attitudes towards exercise, and adopt a healthier and more active approach to their lifestyles," Clark said.
"Community is at the heart of everything NSWRL does and like many of our Rugby League programs which make a difference to society and help to improve lives, the Knockout Health Challenge plays an important role in closing the health and life expectancy gap for Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, by addressing obesity in Aboriginal communities."
The 2016 Registration Pack is now available online, including all forms required for each challenge and rules and guidelines for this year’s Challenge.

The official hashtag of the 2016 NSW Knockout Health Challenge is #nswkohchallenge2016

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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