THE Macleay Valley Mustangs added another accolade to their championship season yesterday.
They became the first sporting club in Kempsey to receive accreditation under the Australian Drug Foundation’s Good Sports program.
The program works with more than 5000 sporting clubs across Australia to manage the consumption of alcohol responsibly and to ensure the club’s focus is on the sporting field.
The program aims to create a familyfriendly culture and reduce alcoholrelated harms within the club and wider community.
The Good Sports Northern NSW program manager is former Newcastle Knights rugby league player Marc Glanville.
“When I was playing the culture was to play hard and drink hard, but times have changed, particularly for sporting clubs in smaller communities,” he said. “There are a lot of benefits to clubs to manage their alcohol culture responsibly.
"We have found clubs that take part in our program increase their sponsorship revenue and membership. It is not about cutting out alcohol completely by any means, just about managing how it is consumed for the benefit of the club members and the wider community.”
Clubs involved with Good Sports benefit the whole community by reducing risky drinking behaviour, drink driving, violence and aggression.
Mustangs RLFC president Mike Spalding said the Good Sports program was an important step for the club.
“We are able to implement alcohol management policies that not only reduce risky drinking within the club, but also to promote a healthy lifestyle particularly for young people,” he said. “We can also educate the wider community as well as providing them with a safe environment to enjoy our sport,” Mr Spalding said.