Hunter Surf Life Saving is putting the health of its junior members first by introducing a new initiative which promotes role modelling and a club environment which is healthier and safer for everyone.
The Good Sports Junior project, supported by nib foundation, is an initiative of the Australian Drug Foundation’s pioneering Good Sports program. The program works with more than 7000 clubs nationwide to help them develop healthier and safer environments for their members, and create a healthier future for our younger generations.
Hunter Surf Life Saving clubs were selected to be part of the first roll-out of the project which works closely with clubs to create more positive and welcoming playing environments for juniors around the key themes of alcohol, tobacco, healthy eating and spectator conduct.
Ex-rugby league star and Good Sports Regional Manager Marc Glanville said sporting clubs were a great vehicle to reach young people.
“The Good Sports Junior project will challenge adult sporting club members, and in particular parents, to role model behaviours that promote positive health messages to juniors, and to be more mindful of the influence they have on their child’s sporting club experience,” said Mr Glanville.
“Through strategies that make alcohol less visible at sporting clubs we can positively influence the attitudes and behaviour that juniors associate with alcohol and start to break the link between alcohol and sport.
“Hunter Surf Life Saving have 12 of the 13 clubs in their branch committed to the project, which provides great potential for the sport to position itself strongly in the region among parents when it comes to selecting a club for their child.”
Hunter Surf Life Saving Branch CEO Rhonda Scrutin said she was excited to see how the Good Sports Junior project could help their clubs bring their values to life.
“I have witnessed first-hand the positive impact of the Good Sports program with clubs in our branch and to now be part of the Junior project is so exciting – I look forward to watching our clubs grow as they promote healthier options for families,” said Ms Scrutin.
“I will look on with great pride as our clubs create safer and more welcoming environments in which juniors in the Hunter region can thrive.”
Good Sports clubs have less risky drinking and are healthier, safer and more family- friendly places to enjoy sport. According to independent research, and in a world-first, Good Sports has been proven to reduce the likelihood of risky drinking by 37 per cent and the risk of alcohol-related harm to club members by 42 per cent.