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NRL Mailbox: Closing the gap

NRL.com Thu, Aug 02, 2012 - 9:00 AM

Did you know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies have more than double the chance of dying before the age of one than other Australian babies?

Rugby League is again getting behind a great cause, with this weekend’s Close the Gap Round (August 3-6) supporting Australia’s largest campaign to improve Indigenous health.

Oxfam Australia’s ‘Close the Gap’ campaign aims to reduce the 10-year life expectancy gap that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and NRL stars including Johnathan Thurston, Cameron Smith and Greg Inglis are urging league fans to help tackle Indigenous health inequality by pledging to support the campaign.

This year’s game-wide activities will again highlight the importance of working to improve Indigenous health, life expectancy and education and employment opportunities. Over the round, NRL Club initiatives will include Indigenous-inspired jerseys, mentoring, leadership, cultural awareness sessions and Indigenous performances.

Sport plays a critical role in helping to close the gap, with many examples of lives being turned around through involvement in a local sporting club, with its community focus and health benefits for players. Rugby League was the first sporting code in Australia to support the Close the Gap campaign with our inaugural Close the Gap Round held in 2009.

There’s no reason why all Australians can’t enjoy health equality so please show your support for closing the gap and sign the pledge when you go to support your team this round.

You can also sign the pledge, by logging on to www.oxfam.org.au/closethegap.