11 April 2016
​Aboriginal communities from across NSW are kicking off a statewide health challenge in Sydney today, pledging to fight obesity and improve Aboriginal health. They’ve teamed up with NSW Rugby League Origin and Blues’ Coach Laurie Daley and NSW Health to launch the 2016 Aboriginal Knockout Health Challenge today at Homebush.

Mr Daley, a Challenge ambassador, said the 800-plus participants from 32 teams should be cheered on for making a commitment to themselves and their teams 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,” Mr 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 annual NSW Aboriginal Knockout Health Challenge is a joint initiative of NSW Health and NSW Rugby League, inviting Aboriginal communities to participate in a dynamic program to lose weight.

This year’s Knockout Health Challenge consists of four events from April to October. Teams can enter the George Rose, Julie Young and Ronnie Gibbs Challenges, setting their own exercise program targets and milestones with the aim of reducing their average team weight loss. The Kyle Saunders Challenge is also open to teams to design a three minute workout or nutrition video that demonstrates teamwork, strength, stamina, rugby league and cooking skills.

Executive Director of NSW Health’s Centre for Population Health, Dr Jo Mitchell, said participants in the Aboriginal Knockout Health Challenge, now in its fifth year, had proved that through commitment and a cooperative team approach it was possible to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

“More than 800 people from communities across NSW participated in last year’s Challenge, achieving an average weight loss of 2.7kg of body weight. An average weight loss of 2kg reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 30 per cent,” Dr Mitchell said.

Dr Mitchell said it was important to maintain a healthy weight as the risk of developing chronic disease increased as people put on weight.

“People living with obesity are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other  conditions such as cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis and reproductive problems.

“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.

“The results from the previous challenges have been phenomenal and we hope our participants will achieve even better health outcomes in 2016,” Dr Mitchell said.

For more information on the Challenge: www.facebook.com/nswknockoutchallenge 

Media contact: NSW Health Public Affairs team on 02 9391 9121, media@doh.health.nsw.gov.au​ or AH 02 9962 9890.
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Page Updated: Monday 11 April 2016