The NSW Koori Knockout Carnival was established in 1970 by a group of Aboriginal Men determined to create a grassroots rugby league that would be run by the community for the community. During those early years the Koori Knockout became the biggest annual event for Aboriginal peoples across NSW. The KO was also responsible for Aboriginal players to be seen and selected in the ARL. The KO is known throughout NSW as the modern day Corrooboree. Traditionally since 1975, the winners of the Koori Knockout inherit the honour, along with their communities, local council and business, of hosting the following year’s Knockout Carnival in their community.
Attracting 40,000+ Aboriginal and non -Aboriginal spectators the Knockout, it is considered to be the largest Rugby League Knockout competition in the world and the largest sporting event involving Aboriginal people in the country.
The Knockout is very much considered a stepping stone to the professional competitions such as Jersey Flegg, Harold Matthews and onto the NRL, by the younger generation. The exceptional talent coming up through the ranks and blooded at the KO are scouted by the various NRL teams talent scouts who regularly attend the event.
Those who were given the opportunity to play professional NRL football and represent the community, in a professional career, always return and play with their family and represent their community.