The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) has been officially notified of the decision to postpone the annual NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout Carnival which was due to be hosted on the South Coast in October.
Team delegates reached a consensus at a meeting across the weekend.
NSWALC fully understands how difficult this decision has been for the organising committee and all involved in the planning and preparation for this iconic weekend on our calendar.
As a stakeholder in the event, NSWALC has participated in several planning sessions and meetings with the South Coast Black Cockatoos over the past nine months, since they earned hosting rights following their win at Tuggerah last year.
They have been professional and thorough in their commitment to providing the best possible tournament for everyone to participate in, attend and enjoy in the true traditions of the Knockout. Things were headed towards a magnificent celebration of Aboriginal people and culture through high-class rugby league.
To reach this decision has not been easy for the organising committee or the team delegates. However, they should be applauded for putting public health and safety and social responsibility first and playing their part in helping stop the spread of this current health crisis.
These are unprecedented times and brave decisions need to be made. NSWALC congratulates and thanks South Coast Black Cockatoos for making a call on the tournament’s 2020 status at the earliest possible stage in order to allow participants, supporters, sponsors and stakeholders to better plan the coming months.
The Knockout will go on. The South Coast Black Cockatoos have already committed to hosting the next year’s tournament at the Bomaderry Sporting Complex over the October long weekend in 2021.
NSWALC has been a long-term financial supporter of the Knockout through our Statewide Grants program. We have also secured a multi-year Commonwealth Government funding deal to assist in the running of the Knockout. We would like to assure the South Coast Black Cockatoos and the wider Network that this financial commitment remains intact, despite the change in schedule.
We share in the disappointment that this decision had to be made but look forward to seeing you next year on the NSW South Coast.