Cowboys Maintain ‘Deadly’ NQ Community Commitment

The North Queensland Cowboys are committed to playing a pivotal role in empowering First Nations communities towards healthy lifestyle choices, as part of its ongoing partnership with the Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service (TAIHS), via the Deadly Choices preventative health program.  


Today, there was an air of excitement at the TAIHS Garbutt Clinic, as Cowboys players joined with clinic staff to unveil the 2024 suite of Cowboys Deadly Choices shirts, which are offered as incentives for community members who book in for a health check.

Belying his years, 22-year-old centre sensation, Zac Laybutt, a Wakka Wakka man from Mundubbera south-west of Bundaberg typifies that directive, reflecting on his own journey in the hope of inspiring other young, local Indigenous youth.

I always wanted to make it in the NRL, so as a young fella I distanced myself from a lot of alcohol and drugs as I knew if I didnt make those choices, it would hinder my performance,” confirmed Laybutt.

Just as important are a lot of those simple Deadly Choices relating to health and nutrition.

“For footballers, eating well is obviously the biggest thing to recovery and getting us bigger, stronger, faster; but away from sport it’s just as simple to ensure Mob live a long and happy life by eating well and sticking clear of the smokes and alcohol.”

For middle forward, Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, a proud Kaurna and Narungga man, the opportunity for further interaction with locals on behalf of the Cowboys is something he takes much satisfaction from.  

I’ve been lucky enough to work with Deadly Choices at the Cows for a few years now and I think just knowing with the large Indigenous populations up here in North Queensland, that Deadly Choices are doing their best work to promote that healthy lifestyle to all the Mob and it’s really rewarding to be a part of,” said Taunoa-Brown.

Along with existing programs of the Cowboys, knowing that we as players can have that positive influence among Mob from right across the NQ region, it’s deadly what Deadly Choices is doing!”

And there’s no doubting the anticipated response of locals keen to get their hands on the new incentivised Cowboys shirts.

“TAIHS is very proud to collaborate with Deadly Choices and the Cowboys to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to make deadly choices in life. TAIHS offers a range of services, particularly Adult Health Checks, to help identify if people are at risk of illness or chronic disease. We highly encourage all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to complete a health check.” Said Dr Sean Taylor

Once again, there’ll be a collaborative effort between the Cowboys, TAIHS and Deadly Choices during this year’s Cowboys NRL Indigenous Round fixture against the Wests Tigers during Round 12 on Saturday 24th May, plus other home game activations within the Queensland Country Bank Stadium precinct throughout 2024.

“We feel very privileged here at the Cowboys to support Deadly Choices’ engagement with communitiy along with having them as a partner of our club for more than a decade,” Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel said.

“The work Deadly Choices undertake in the community, including the preventive health & healthy lifestyle programs, is hugely important here in North Queensland. We are thrilled community members who book in for a health check will continue to receive the Cowboys branded Deadly Choices shirt.” 

Health Checks

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website contains images of people who have passed away. With permission from their families, we have continued to use their images to acknowledge and honour their contributions in making our communities healthy and strong.

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