NSW Blues coach Laurie Daley, Anthony Mundine, George Rose, Julie Young and Ronnie Gibbs today helped launch the fifth annual NSW Knockout Health Challenge in the fight against obesity among Aboriginal communities.

Today marked the start of the George Rose Challenge, with representatives from the 32 teams gathering at Rugby League Central for an official introduction, before they were put through a light training session.
 
More than 800 participants will take part in the first of four challenges throughout the year, with teams competing from as far north as Lismore and as far west as Menindee, including two all-women's teams.
 
A joint initiative of NSW Health and New South Wales Rugby League, Daley has thrown his support behind the participants, urging them to lose weight and improve their health.
 
“This is a team effort that not only results in better health but raises community awareness of the benefits of physical activity and healthy eating to combat obesity and other life threatening diseases,” Daley said.
 
“It’s about striving to do your best and achieve results that benefit your whole team – just like Rugby League players aiming for a win on the field.”

The George Rose Challenge will run for 10 weeks, before the Video Challenge (Kyle Saunders Video Challenge) in June. Challenge 2 kicks off 4 July, with the Ronnie Gibbs “Above the Line” Challenge running throughout the year from April to October.

Executive Director of NSW Health’s Centre for Population Health, Dr Jo Mitchell, stressed the importance of maintaining a healthy weight as the risk of developing chronic disease increased as people put on weight.
 
“The Knockout Challenge provides a fun and effective opportunity to lose weight and improve your lifestyle and general wellbeing, to help combat obesity and other chronic diseases,” Dr Mitchell said.
 
“People living with obesity are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and associated diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis and reproductive problems.”
 
In 2015, more than 1200 NSW Aboriginal people across 38 teams took part in the Challenge, with a combined weight loss of 2700 kilograms.­­