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Koori Knockout 50th anniversary on Yuin Country

[by Ben Ingram]


South Coast Black Cockatoos 2019 Koori Knockout champions. Image: supplied

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ben Franklin has announced a $75,000 commitment from the NSW Government to support the success of this year’s milestone 50th anniversary rugby league Koori Knockout.


This funding is in addition to the previously announced $150,000 Gold Membership from the NSW Government.


Aboriginal Affairs NSW joins a cross-government commitment to the anniversary event at Nowra and Bomaderry over the October long weekend.


Minister Franklin said the Koori Knockout is one of the most important events in Aboriginal calendars and is the biggest rugby league knockout carnival anywhere in the world.


“The NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout is a great opportunity to showcase sporting talent from across the State but will also bring Community together in a fun-filled environment,” Mr Franklin said.


“Organisers anticipate upwards of 30,000 spectators will travel to support the 50th anniversary Koori Knockout and gather with family to watch top tier men’s, women’s, and youth rugby league over four days in a beautiful part of the State.”


Minister for Sport Alister Henskens said the Koori Knockout is one of the largest Aboriginal events in the State.


“Sport is a great community builder. We want our Aboriginal communities to be as healthy and active as possible and there’s no better way to do that than through sport,” Mr Henskens said.


“The Koori Knockout will bring real excitement to the community, while providing a welcome boost to many local businesses through tourism-related spending.”


The NSW Government is supporting a Covid-safe competition in a memorable return to the annual event, after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.


Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock said the Koori Knockout is a great initiative and the community is looking forward to embracing NSW Aboriginal football players.


“It’s fantastic the South Coast Black Cockatoos, as reigning champions, get to defend their title on home turf while hosting the 50th anniversary of this iconic competition that attracts one of Australia’s biggest gatherings of Aboriginal people,” Mrs Hancock said.


Among the big names taking part is Canterbury Bulldogs winger Josh Addo-Carr. To date 122 teams have registered across the three competitions – men’s, women’s, and youth.


Paul Brown, an Eora Nation man from Sydney who is also known as a Yuin man of the South Coast, is a six-time Koori Knockout front rower and winning player. Paul was a baby when he attended the inaugural Koori Knockout at Erskineville in Sydney to watch his father Terry play for La Perouse.


“My grandfather played in a La Perouse All-Blacks team in the 1940s, prior to the first Koori Knockout, and my father played in the first Knockout in 1972 for the La Perouse All-Blacks,” Mr Brown said.

“The Knockout provides a great opportunity for our passionate rugby league communities to showcase their graded NRL players while playing for their mob on country and no doubt this will occur on the Yuin South Coast’s 50th anniversary Knockout.”

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