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2012 NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout

More than 20,000 people cheered the Newcastle Yowies to grand final victory at the 2012 Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout.

The event celebrated its 40th anniversary over the weekend in the town of Raymond Terrace near Newcastle.

Funded by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs through the Australian Government’s Closing the Gap initiative, the Knockout promotes health and social well-being through sport.

Proud Yowie’s president, Jim Wright said the Knockout is one of the most important events of the year for the Aboriginal community.

“It is one of the greatest gatherings for Aboriginals – the atmosphere was unreal here on the day – and the players act as role models and inspiration to the younger ones,” Jim said.

Jim said the Knockout brings communities and families together so there is a strong cultural significance to the event.

“The knockout is so popular because it is organised by the local Aboriginal community. I am the president but everybody in the team plays a role, the boys basically run it for themselves and they are doing an excellent job.” Jim said.

The Yowies beat last year’s champions, the Mindaribba Warriors by 26-20.

The Knockout also included a junior’s and women’s competition. The Mindaribba Sisters defeated the Redfern All Blacks 26-16 to take out the women’s title and in the 17 years final the Moree Boomerangs beat Ngunnawal  28-4.

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For information about the range of initiatives under Closing the Gap visit the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Service and Indigenous Affairs website.