Federal Member for Forde Bert van Manen is encouraging Indigenous league fans to make healthy choices to score a specially designed Deadly Kangaroos jersey during the Rugby League World Cup this October and November.
Mr van Manen said it was part of an exciting new health initiative, led by league legend and Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga, with $235,000 in funding support from the Turnbull Government.
“Mal is headlining the new Deadly Kangaroos promotion, along with national and local league stars as ambassadors,” Mr van Manen said.
“The program will be promoted nationwide, throughout the Kangaroos’ World Cup campaign, but it’s aimed at giving our local communities healthier futures, with a special focus on children and young people.
“Locals can qualify for their free Deadly Kangaroos jersey just by having a health check at participating Aboriginal medical services.”
The Deadly Kangaroos campaign is based on the successful Deadly Choices program, launched in Queensland in 2013.
“It emphasises the importance of exercise, education, school attendance, quitting smoking and regular preventive health checks,” Mr van Manen said.
“Through media campaigns, sports carnivals and community events Deadly Choices has prompted almost 19,000 annual health check-ups, encouraged more than 300,000 people to regularly seek medical attention and stopped smoking in nearly 1,200 households.”
The unique Deadly Kangaroos jersey has been designed by acclaimed Queensland Aboriginal artist Charlie Chambers.
Mr van Manen said key Deadly Kangaroos ambassadors would be Johnathan Thurston and Greg Inglis.
“The ambassadors will make appearances at game day events as the Australian team travels through the ACT, New South Wales, the Northern Territory and regional Queensland for the World Cup,” he said.
“But the jerseys and health checks will be available wherever there are participating Aboriginal medical services.
“Experience shows that sport and sporting legends can help our communities kick major goals in health awareness and foster real change.”
The Rugby League World Cup runs from 26 October to 2 December. For World Cup information, see: http://www.rlwc2017.com/
For information on Deadly Choices, see: https://www.deadlychoices.com.au