Pivotal Indigenous Health Role for Western Clydesdales

Western Clydesdales players have an opportunity to ensure the ongoing health and vitality of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, as the Hostplus Cup franchise expands its involvement with Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement Co Ltd and the Deadly Choices preventative health program. 

NRL Hall of Fame inductee and Deadly Choices Ambassador, Petero Civoniceva visited Toowoomba to discuss the impact of the newly designed Clydesdales’ health check shirt incentives across the playing group and throughout the club’s footprint. 

Replicas of this year’s inaugural Western Clydesdales Indigenous jerseys, which feature the artwork of the late founding Chairman of Goolburri, Dale Manns, will be offered through Goolburri Health clinics to anyone who completes an annual 715 Health Check. 

Players will again play in the specially designed ‘Old Man Emu’ Indigenous jerseys this Saturday against the Easts Tigers, in the second official week of Hostplus Cup Indigenous Round.    

“The formula of replicating Indigenous rugby league jersey designs with a view to optimising health outcomes among Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander communities is a concept that has worked successfully for Deadly Choices across the past thirteen years,” confirmed Civoniceva. 

“This opportunity with the Western Clydesdales has been presented to us via our ongoing partnership with the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs and our close ties with Goolburri Health, who have offered Deadly Choices incentives to great effect for many years. 

“Through such a collaborative arrangement we set a great platform for young boys and girls to continue to maintain annual health checks, incorporate exercise and healthy eating into their lives, and resist the temptations of vaping and tobacco use. 

“For Clydesdales players, the simple act of taking to the field in their specially designed jerseys this weekend comes with a responsibility and commitment to their local communities, so we want to ensure all players are aware of that significance.       

“Through this relationship we also foresee potential pathways for young Indigenous boys and girls who can aspire to one day become a Clydesdale on the strength of their underlying commitment to positive health practice now and into the future.” 

Reaffirming a commitment to this year’s NAIDOC theme: ‘For our Elders,’ Deadly Choices in conjunction with the Queensland Rugby League has also instigated a retro-styled Clydesdales shirt to encourage older men to undertake a regular health check. 

These incentives are based on the familiar, world-conquering Clydesdales jersey of 1984, where the locals were the only team, apart from the national Australia and New Zealand outfits to defeat the visiting England rugby league test team. 

 Modelling the new-look retro Clydesdales Deadly Choices health check shirt were former heavyweight representative players and members of the South-West Indigenous Team of the Century Jack Gibbs, Tom and Robbie Clevin, Ricky Hazard and Bill Gorringe.      

Posted: July 2023