• Good luck to all involved in the Koori Knockout, NSW Minister for Tourism says. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
The NSW minister for tourism, major events and sport has sent his best wishes to the thousands of people attending the Koori Knockout in Dubbo this long weekend.
By
Yasmin Noone

2 Oct 2015 - 3:32 PM  UPDATED 3 Oct 2015 - 2:06 PM

Stuart Ayres, the NSW minister for tourism, major events and sport, said he recognised the intrinsic value of Indigenous events to the wealth and cultural fabric of the first state in an exclusive Koori Knockout message to NITV.

"It is great to see young Aboriginal people coming together to participate in local sporting events such as the Koori Knockout which not only brings together the entire community but helps promote a healthy and active lifestyle," Mr Ayres said.

"I wish all of the competing teams the best of luck and hope everyone has an enjoyable few days ahead."

Mr Ayres said the rugby carnival, dating back 45 years, is more than just a business for Aboriginal communities: “It is a vehicle to celebrate and share Aboriginal culture with locals and visitors alike”.
 
The minister estimated that in the year ending March 2015, NSW received 1.3 million visitors who participated in an Aboriginal tourism activity. These visitors contributed to an estimated $2.2 billion in visitor expenditure to NSW.

“There is no other event on the calendar quite like the Koori Knockout.” 

NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) chair Craig Cromelin agreed that the game was culturally significant.

He added that its benefits go one step further in promoting cohesion between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia, various age groups and sexes.  

“But the value of the Koori Knockout is that although it caters for Aboriginal people, it’s also one of the few events that is designed purely for Aboriginal people but not exclusive to Aboriginal people,” said Mr Cromelin.

“Many non-Aboriginal people flock to the event to see fast-flowing football from men, women, under 12s and under 17, played in the right spirit by people from coastal, metropolitan, larger regional and remote centres.”

It is for this reason, Mr Cromelin said, that the state-based NRL event is the popular event it is today.

“You have NRL-level players like George Rose who rates winning the Knockout up there with winning an NRL grand final.

He added that this presented a great opportunity to push positive messages and instil pride in younger players.

“There is no other event on the calendar quite like the Koori Knockout.”


 

About Koori Knockout 2015

The 45th NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout, hosted by 2014 winners Walgett Aboriginal Connection, will be held at Caltex Park, Dubbo, from Friday 2 to Monday 5 October.

Keep up-to-date with all the scores via our rolling score updates on this site. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #KooriKnockout and #NITV.

NITV online will also feature highlights and try-lights from the Queensland Murri Carnival finals on Sunday 4 October and from the NSW Koori Knockout finals on Monday 5 October.

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