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Wayne Bennett Close the Gap

On National Close the Gap Day, the Newcastle Knights join in the National movement to support Indigenous health equality.

The Close the Gap campaign’s goal is to close the health and life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.

Alarmingly, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander life expectancy is 10-17 years lower than other Australians and experience higher rates of preventable illness such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes.

Closing the Gap is a cause close to halfback Tyrone Roberts' heart.

As an ambassador of the Deadly Choices program, he promotes the campaign which aims to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. 

“I want Indigenous Australians to live long and healthy lives. Today is a day for all of us to help close the gap,” Roberts said.

Teammate Robbie Rochow has also thrown his support behind the Close the Gap campaign and believes the goal of health equality is an important issue for all Australians.

“I think Indigenous health is very important. Help us close the gap,” Rochow said.   

Meanwhile, coach Wayne Bennett has also pledged his support to the Close the Gap campaign. 

"I have been very supportive of the Close The Gap initative for some time now.

"It is imperative that we educate our Indigenous Australians about the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle," he said. 

The Knights will further support the pursuit of health equality in Australia in the Close the Gap Round in Round 23, played in mid August, where the team will proudly wear the specially designed 2014 Indigenous jersey, first launched in February at the Indigenous Festival of Rugby League.