NRL urges all Australians to ‘Get it 2gether’ for bowel cancer screening

The National Rugby League (NRL) is partnering with the Australian Government to encourage eligible Australians to “Get It 2gether” by taking a free, and potentially lifesaving, bowel screening test.

NRL’s ‘Best Seats In The House’ competition will give one lucky fan four tickets for the ultimate money-can’t-buy Telstra Premiership Grand Final experience, including flights, accommodation, VIP seats, and a hospitality package.

To enter the competition, simply answer the question here about why it’s time for you to “give a crap” about your health by checking for signs of bowel cancer.

The competition is directed to people aged 50 to 74 years old, the high-risk age bracket for bowel cancer, and the target group for the Australian Government’s National Bowel Screening Program.

Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler, thanked the NRL for focussing on bowel cancer – the second biggest killing cancer in Australia.

Minister Butler said only two out of five people currently completed the test kits sent to them by the screening program.

“Lifting this number to three out of five could save 84,000 Australian lives by 2040,” he said. “The NRL has a huge fan base and I’m confident its support for bowel cancer screening will persuade many Australians to Get It 2gether.

“While not many of us can be as fit and strong as an NRL player, we can all take the simple screening test to protect our health, for ourselves and our families.”

Former league legends Geoff Toovey, Dean Widders, and Petero Civoneceva have stepped forward to promote the NRL competition and raise awareness of the importance of the bowel cancer screening.

At 54, Toovey is in the target age group for the screening test.

“This is an issue that we must tackle off the field,” he said. “It’s time for Aussies to start ‘giving a crap’ and stop putting off cancer screening.”

“Why wouldn’t you want to give yourself peace of mind by taking a simple test that is easy, free, and could potentially save your life?”

Widders, 43, is a former player, coach, and Indigenous Pathways manager for the NRL. His mentor Quentin Pongia, died of bowel cancer in 2019.

“The most important thing in life is not scoring tries, it’s saving lives,” Widders said.

“Quentin was as tough off the field as on it and I know how hard he fought with bowel cancer. But the earlier the cancer is caught, the better your chances.

“I hope I can encourage Aussie blokes and especially First Nations men to get their crap together, face up to the risks of cancer and do the test.”

Manly Sea Eagles territory is knocking other NRL jurisdictions out of the park when it comes to bowel screening rates, returning the most tests in the league (45.4%). They are followed closely by the Canberra Raiders (45.1%), both exceeding the national participation rate of 40.9%.

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