Funding to help sporting groups kick illegal drugs out of the game

The Nationals’ Federal Member for Riverina and Minister for Small Business is encouraging sporting leagues in the Riverina to take part in an Australian Government program to reduce the impact of illegal drugs on Australian communities.

As part of the Government’s National Ice Action Strategy, the Good Sports program is being expanded with an additional $4.6 million in funding to include a new education module on tackling illegal drugs.

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation with the support of the Riverina Football Netball League and Farrer Football Netball League will hold a community forum on 5 April 2017 at the Narrandera Ex-Servicemen’s Club to launch the expanded program.

“The forum brings clubs together so they create a network in their community —empowering clubs to get the information they need about illegal drugs and using the information to create a program that is tailored for that club,” NSW Good Sports Community Development Manager Russel Grimson said.

“Illegal drug use is a tricky issue, but you’d be surprised how much of an impact sporting clubs can have on the local area. Often at the centre of community life, sporting clubs play an important role in fostering positive relationships by bringing people together in strong and healthy environments.”

An avid football fan and supporter of the Riverina Football Netball League, local Member Michael McCormack is strongly encouraging sporting leagues and associations in Wagga Wagga and the surrounding region to get involved.

“Sporting clubs will be provided with information, tools and support should they find or suspect that illegal drugs are being used in their club,” Mr McCormack said.

“Club members, management, volunteers, players and supporters will be able to participate in this hands-on forum and learn how to respond to a person suspected of using or being under the influence of drugs, as well as what to do if someone is found dealing drugs in their club.

“Sporting clubs are at the heart of Australian communities so I want them to have practical and targeted support to deal with illegal drugs.”

Australians are proportionally using more methamphetamine, including ice, than almost any other country. Conservative estimates suggest there are more than 200,000 ice users in Australia.

“Clubs are a snapshot of the larger community and this is a great opportunity for them to promote positive behaviour when it comes to tackling illegal drugs,” Mr McCormack said.

“We are committed to tackling drugs at the grass roots and beyond so our kids, families and community have the knowledge and resources to live long and happy lives free of illicit drugs.

“I’m pleased to learn that all clubs part of the AFL Riverina and Farrer Leagues are taking a proactive approach to these issues and are all part of the Good Sports program, with many having already achieved Level 3 accreditation.”

Sporting clubs wanting more information on how to become involved are encouraged to contact Good Sports by visiting its:

Cristy Houghton