National health organisations working towards closing the gap in health and life expectancy outcomes among Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, will come together to unveil the rejuvenated 2023 Arthur Beetson QAIHC Murri v AH&MRC Koori Interstate Rugby League Challenge to be held in Queensland early next year.
It’s been seven years since the winners of the Open Men’s and Women’s competitions at the Queensland Murri Carnival (QMC) and Koori Knockout have faced off for national supremacy, so there’s anticipation of State of Origin-intensity associated with next year’s day-long Interstate Challenge. It also means added incentive for all players involved in this week’s QMC event currently being held at Redcliffe’s Moreton Daily Stadium precinct and the Koori Knockout in Shoalhaven.
Event promoters, the Arthur Beetson Foundation (ABF) in partnership with Deadly Choices, the national preventative health arm of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), have garnered significant event support through the Queensland Government, plus sanctioning of the event through the National Rugby League (NRL) and naming rights support through the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) and the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of New South Wales (AH&MRC).
For the first time, the event will also feature an undercard of epic proportions with NSW Koori Under 17 Boys and Under 17 Girls Teams selected from among players at the 2022 Koori Knockout. The ‘Kooris’ will take on Queensland Murri Teams, selected from players competing in the Boys Under 16 and Girls Under 17 Competitions at this years’ QMC.
There’ll be incentive towards even higher representative honours for the Under 17 Boys, with a national team to be selected from the Interstate Challenge to take on a New Zealand Maori team as an official part of the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars event to be held for the first time at Aotearoa, New Zealand.
All players and Team officials will be required to have completed a Health Check and, for junior players, to have maintained regular school attendance.
For IUIH, the re-introduction of the Interstate Challenge will ensure maintained momentum around encouraging Mob to book in for a free 715 health check at their local participating Community Controlled Health Service, while also creating opportunities to promote the benefits of living an active, healthy lifestyle.
Deadly Choice Ambassadors will help the overall health promotion ideals of next year’s day-long carnival, seeking to empower competitors, their families and supporters to take control of their own health in the lead up to and during the 2023 Arthur Beetson QAIHC Murri v AH&MRC Koori Interstate Rugby League Challenge.
Off the field, various other community activities, stalls and interactive opportunities will be featured at the Interstate Challenge.