The Condo Kilo Killers
Over a ten week period in early 2014, forty Condobolin people motivated themselves and each other to lose a collective 92kg and gain significant health and lifestyle benefits by participating in the NSW Knockout Health Challenge.
Run by NSW Health in partnership with NSW Rugby League, the Knockout Health Challenge is a primary prevention program that aims to engage Aboriginal communities to target health issues such as nutrition, physical inactivity, obesity and tobacco use.
The aim is to motivate people to manage their risk factors for chronic disease. According to the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation, eliminating these risk factors can prevent 80% of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and chronic renal failure and 40% of cancer.
In Condobolin, Western NSW Local Health District Community Staff and Joe Flick, Community Outreach Co-ordinator at the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation saw the Knockout Challenge as a model that could work well in this community.
Over 50 Aboriginal people signed up for the first challenge. Two teams were formed to enter the health challenge to represent Condobolin.
“One of the first things we did was an audit of what’s around town. Then we said, ‘look, these are all the things that you can do – there’s lawn bowls, water aerobics, walking and the gym’. A lot of that stuff, like gym membership, would come at a cost to the individual, so we worked with council to bring down the price.” Joe Flick.
To support the participants within the Challenge, the program provides nutritional advice, a food and activity diary and goal setting tips. Participants were given a pedometer and a diary so they could keep track of their own goals.
“The group was asked how many of them have changed the way they read the nutritional information of packets and over 50% put their hand up!”
The Condo Kilo Killers steering committee co-ordinated a program of activities to suit their need to empower the participating teams over the ten week period.
The reason the health challenge has been so successful in Condobolin is that it is run at a grass-roots level and addresses the individual needs of the community.
This program is evident to be seen as a great strategy in terms of health improvements and nutrition amongst Aboriginal people living in Condobolin.
Around four NSW Knockout Health challenges are held throughout the year across the state, and following the success of the first, the Condobolin community is looking forward to many more which will be run by Condobolin Community Health.