Making Responsible Changes

Trouble shooting tools and strategies for implementing the Responsible use of Alcohol in your organisation facility or club.

Click here to register to become a Good Sports club and start promoting the responsible use of alcohol in your sport.

Most sporting organisations understand the importance of alcohol management; however, many rely on alcohol as a form of revenue, fundraising and prizes.

“69% of clubs rely on alcohol sales for revenue raising with alcohol supplied at most events” (Healthy Sporting Environments evaluation)

Creating an environment that is alcohol free and family friendly is now considered a priority area for many sports clubs who are recognising that alcohol can potentially have a negative impact on revenue affect financial performance, culture and performance. This may be attributable to a drinking culture that does not provide a healthy or welcoming sporting environment to its members and community (Healthy Sporting Environment evaluation) or uncertainty as to how to substitute the income generated from alcohol sales.

A range of ideas can be used to create alcohol free revenue raising, fundraising and prizes.

BBQs are a fantastic way for sporting organisations to raise funds. Click on this link to read more about Healthy BBQs in the Healthy Eating section of the Healthy and Welcoming Sport webpage.

Good Sports provides the following Fact Sheets with great ideas when it comes to alcohol free fundraising and prizes:

Implementing these changes in your sporting organisations will work towards becoming an accredited Good Sports level 2 club

Clubs have on average 6.3 events per year, with 8 out of 10 of these events having alcohol available (Healthy Sporting Environments evaluation)

Some examples of events where alcohol may be present include:

  • End of season celebrations
  • Trivia nights
  • Discos
  • Hosted events
  • Events outside of club setting
  • BBQs

Good Sports provide a Safe Celebrations Toolkit with tips to hold events safely.

“Barriers to the responsible use of alcohol include negative club culture and not connecting sport with health” (Healthy Sporting Environments evaluation).

Many underlying factors influence the drinking culture in sport. Sporting organisations should consider the following factors when working towards making your club family friendly in settings where alcohol is served.

  • Availability and the role of alcohol
  • Layout and design of the drinking environment
  • Social context of the setting
  • Link between alcohol and the setting
  • Formal rules and enforcement
  • Settings-based advertising and promotions
  • Subcultures that own/operate within the setting
  • Role models, positive or negative influences
  • Expectations about behaviour while drinking
  • Acceptability of intoxication
  • Peer influence and social pressure

(retrieved from the Alcohol Cultures Framework 2016)

Helpful strategies that were highlighted during the Healthy Sporting Environments program to encourage individuals to manage and moderate their alcohol consumption include:

  • Supplying jugs of water on all tables at functions
  • Ensuring that food is available at events
  • Providing light and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Implementing time restrictions (e.g. Can’t serve alcohol until 3pm)
  • Providing safe transport (Link to safe transport policy).

During the Healthy Sporting Environments program Mildura Workers Bowls Club installed a breath-o-meter and were the 2013 Good Sports awards regional winners.

A range of club benefits are associated with creating a healthier sports club including:

  • Attracting and retaining members
  • Positive club image (family friendly and welcoming)
  • Improved social interaction
  • Attracting volunteers for administration, umpiring and coaching roles

Other benefits that were highlighted from the Healthy Sporting Environment program included:

  • Responsible consumption of alcohol by prominent club members and officials
  • Greater consumption of light alcoholic beverages reported by clubs
  • Less consumption of full strength drinks reported by clubs

74% of clubs reported that positive behavioural changes around alcohol consumption had been sustained for four or more months at the end of the program (Healthy Sporting Environments evaluation)

Sporting organisations can effectively promote the responsible use of alcohol. Ongoing communication and promotion of responsible alcohol consumption is important and shows commitment from your organisation. This can be conveyed through posters, newsletters, emails, club webpages and social media.

The visibility of materials that encourage safe drinking behaviours is a great place to start. There is a range of signage that must be displayed to comply with liquor laws. These posters can be downloaded from the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation website or alternatively you can click on the following links:

Since the Healthy Sporting Environments program, 76% clubs now display materials supporting the responsible use of alcohol more prominently (Healthy Sporting Environments evaluation)

Social media is considered another great way to communicate messages around responsible alcohol consumption and Good Sports has this covered with a social media toolkit. Additionally to promote that you are a Good Sports club a range of logos, website and email images, website text, newsletter text, Facebook posts and activities are available for easy access to highlight the great work that your club is doing around alcohol management.

Sporting organisations can educate players, members and spectators in understanding the immediate and long-term impact of alcohol consumption. This can be achieved by helping key staff and volunteers understand why they should promote the responsible use of alcohol to build a positive approach towards alcohol management.

According to the Healthy Sporting Environments evaluation, the biggest challenges were educating committee members and players of the importance of responsible alcohol consumption and changing their mindset.

Creating good levels of awareness to ensure that the responsible use of alcohol is implemented within your sporting organisation is by using leaders as role models. This can include senior players, coaches, parents and professional sportspeople.

Below are some resources that can help in the education of alcohol consumption in sport settings.

During the Healthy Sporting Environments program Kilcunda Bass Football Club, a Good Sports Level 3 club, engaged with local community development staff at Wonthaggi police who run preseason training regarding alcohol and drug use and risks associated with social media.

NOTE: If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse or addiction please call Lifeline on 13 11 14