NSWRL launches Deadly Blues campaign for Indigenous health

The NSWRL is proud to announce an exciting partnership with Deadly Choices which encourages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to receive regular medical check-ups and improve their health.

The Deadly Blues health campaign was launched at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence on Friday 5 April and was attended by Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler, the Federal Minister for Indigenous Health, the Hon. Ken Wyatt, NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden, Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) Chief Executive Adrian Carson, Deadly Choices ambassador Steve Renouf and Rugby League legend Nathan Blacklock.

The campaign, which also involves NRL clubs and other elite sports, is being run by the IUIH and has been backed by the Australian Government with a commitment of $1.2 million in funding over the next three years.

The initiative will see Indigenous people receive a free NSWRL-inspired shirt when they attend any of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services for a full health assessment and to receive preventative health messages.

The Deadly Blues program aims to target chronic disease, nutrition, physical activity and smoking which can have a negative impact on Indigenous communities.

“This partnership is a powerful combination for good, offering our young people a clear pathway to healthy choices, as well as a sense of belonging and achievement,” Minister Wyatt said.

“It’s about walking, working and playing together for the future of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, a commitment shared by Deadly Choices and New South Wales Rugby League.”

The Deadly Blues campaign will begin this month in the lead-up to the Holden State of Origin series in June and July 2019 with players helping to deliver the message for Indigenous communities throughout Australia to take control of their health.

The campaign builds on the success of the Institute’s Deadly Choices health promotion activities and the Deadly Roos program which reached almost 50,000 people during the Rugby League World Cup in 2017.

“If the NSWRL can use the power of our brand as a tool to help promote a positive outcome for the Indigenous community in any way then that can only be a great thing,” Trodden said.

“The NSWRL has had many wonderful Indigenous players over the years and we recognise they are an important part of our game and always will be.”

IUIH will also engage high profile male and female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander footballers to deliver messages about the importance of good health by involving them in strategic community initiatives and activities, including attendance at various community events and coaching clinics for young First Australians.

The Institute will deliver the campaign in partnership with local community controlled health services in NSW, commencing in 2019 with existing Deadly Choices sites at Maari Ma Health Service in Far West NSW, Katungal Health Service on the South Coast, through the Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service in Central West and Western Sydney, Bulgarr Ngaru in the Clarence Valley and Winnunga Nimmityjah in the ACT.