Good Sports changing Aussie culture

Monday 11 April 2011

Good Sports changing Aussie culture


by Mat Churchill

The Good Sports program, established to reduce alcohol and other drug problems through the promotion of healthy sporting clubs,  will launch with a free information session for the region's clubs tomorrow.

A national initiative of the Australian Drug Foundation, Good Sports assists sporting clubs to create healthy and family-friendly environments by ensuring the focus is on the sport and a positive culture, rather than alcohol sales and consumption.

One local organisation is leading the way.

Kevin Rynne, Secretary Manager of the Mossman Memorial Bowls Club said becoming part of the Good Sports program six months ago was a natural progression.

"The inspiration came through Bowls Queensland. They said it is a good proactive type program and they recommended clubs get involved. Essentially we were doing everything they were proposing anyway.

"They (the Australian Drug Foundation) are trying to change the culture of the Aussie drinker. Gone are the days of the heavy drinker, the heavy beer all day long and you haven't had a good time until you sleep the night off in the rose garden," Mr Rynne said.

"It's trying to change that culture and have some good mentors for kids in sport so they can see a good example of where they can go in their future, not just for alcohol but smoking as well."

Mr Rynne said the message is getting through to members of the community.
"Over the years the word has filtered and the concept is out there that this is a place to have a social drink, of course there's a place for it, enjoy it responsibly and get home safely. That's what the future is going to be for all licensed premises."

With over 3,900 clubs nationwide Good Sports has a proven record in helping community sports clubs change their culture, and tomorrow's information session and Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training has already sparked interest from the Port Douglas Surf Life Saving Club, Port Douglas Rugby Club and Mossman Junior Rugby League. 

The Good Sports presentation will be held at the Mossman Showgrounds from 5.30pm with the RSA training at 6pm (charged at $45 per person).

For more information contact Tony Hewitt  by email at or call 0430 387 477.