Healthcare Blog

Good Sports Reduces Alcohol Problems For 2000 Clubs, Australia

July 07, 2017

Sporting clubs across Australia have embraced the Australian Drug Foundation's Good Sports program, with 2,000 clubs across the country having registered since the program's launch in 2001.

While the majority of Good Sports clubs (more than 1,200) are based in Victoria where the program began, Good Sports has spread to New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

To applaud the success of the program, Good Sports held a celebration at Albert Sailing Club on Saturday, with Martin Foley MP, member for Albert Park.

Mr Foley emphasised the importance of battling alcohol on a community level, which is one of the State Government's key priorities.

"Alcohol causes the deaths of more young people, especially young men, than anything else" Mr Foley said in his speech on Saturday.

"Youth and local sporting clubs are an excellent way to reach young men and educate them about the dangers of binge drinking. That is what the Australian Drug Foundation's Good Sports Program is about, and we fully support that."

Good Sports National Manager Tony Kiers is thrilled by the popularity of the program, although not surprised by its success:

"It's clearly fulfilling a need in the community. We're constantly seeing headlines about sports stars struggling with alcohol problems, or behaving badly after a big night out. But those issues aren't just a problem at the top, local clubs have concerns about alcohol use too."

"The Good Sports program helps clubs to manage alcohol responsibly and create a more welcoming, family-friendly environment for members and supporters. We also help clubs to reduce their reliance on alcohol sales for profit." Mr Kiers said.

Background

The Good Sports program is a free community program that aims to help sporting clubs manage alcohol responsibly and reduce alcohol related problems, such as binge and underage drinking, as well as drink driving.

It was initiated after evidence came to light that community-based sports clubs contribute to alcohol problems by accepting and promoting excessive drinking and providing inappropriate role models for young people. A study by the Australian Drug Foundation of more than 500 young people found that more than 30% of 13-17 year olds had participated in unsupervised drinking at a sports club, and 51% of drinkers at sports clubs are consuming alcohol at harmful or hazardous levels.

Recent research by the Centre for Youth Drug Studies has shown that members of Good Sports clubs drink less than half the amount consumed by members of non-Good Sports sporting clubs.

For more information, go to goodsports.au.

Australian Drug Foundation