CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
WALKER’S ON: Rabbitohs star Cody Walker is today carrying the black excellence rugby league on his back, after 40,000 Indigenous football fans looks for someone to cheer on as they begin to experience withdrawals from the cancellation of the 2021 Koori Knock Out.
It was announced in August this year that Knock Out would be cancelled for the second year running, with health concerns prompted by the enduring outbreak in Sydney and Western New South Wales.
The South Coast Black Cockatoos, who were to host the annual event, made the reluctant announcement earlier in the lockdown.
As winners of the last Knockout, held in 2019, the Cockatoos would have played host at the Bomaderry Sports Complex this weekend.
The event would also have marked the 50th anniversary of the beloved competition – which has long been recognised as the largest annual exhibition of rugby league in the world.
The Knockout’s cancellation is the latest in a series of community events that were postponed due to the pandemic, leaving a void in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander cultural calendar.
As disappointing as this announcement was for the community was at the time, the true loss of yet another Knock-Out is only just sinking in today, as towns around New South Wales notice the very real hole left by the cancellation of the festivities that would have started this afternoon.
In response to this, the Aboriginal community of NSW have had to pick a Grand Final side to carry the hopes and dreams of their people.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs, a club synonymous with Aboriginal Australia, looks to be the team.
With vast numbers of Indigenous talent in both Grand Final teams, it seems the Bunnies five-eighth Cody Walker is the footballer that the 40,000 restless Koori Knock-Out fans will be throwing their support behind.
As a staple for the Bundjalung Baygal Warriors knock-Out side, Cody Walker is one of the bigger household names playing this weekend. That’s good enough reason for him to now have 40,000 new cousins.
“Yeah. I’ve got some family in Casino” says every single Koori in Australia today.
“Used to play footy with Cody as a kid”
“For this weekend only though”