29th February, 2024 — Good Sports awards

Megan Payne awarded NSW Good Sports Volunteer of the Year

Megan Payne from New Lambton Football Club was awarded the 2023 NSW Good Sports Volunteer of the Year award for her unwavering dedication to strengthening her club and the broader community.

The club was also the runner-up for the NSW Good Sports Club of the Year Award.

Club Vice President, David Thomas said Megan is the heart and soul of the club, leading by example, and selflessly investing her time, energy, and resources into making it a better place.

“Megan has contributed her time and expertise in various roles within the club – she has coached, played, and volunteered, often all at the same time.”

Hosted by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation at Parliament House, Canberra in February 2024, the Awards ceremony recognised Good Sports clubs and their dedicated volunteers from across the country who are passionate about community, their members and making their club the very best it can be.

A volunteer helping her club kick goals

In her current role, Megan handles everything from scheduling to finances, to mentoring and everything in between. Her work has streamlined the club and allowed it to grow significantly.

Megan's service to the club also includes organising large-scale fundraising and social events that have generated substantial funds for the club's development.

“Her impact on the club, its members, and the community is immeasurable and has made her a shining example of what makes our club proud,” said David.

“Megan is a mentor and role model, creating an environment where members feel supported, encouraged, and part of a larger family.”

Reducing alcohol and other drug harms in the community

David explained that the Good Sports program has been instrumental in preventing alcohol and drug-related harm within the club, fostering a culture of responsibility, and providing education and support.

“Joining the Good Sports program has increased our awareness of alcohol and drug-related issues. It has facilitated discussions and workshops on responsible drinking and problematic substance use, ensuring both players and supporters are well-informed,” David said.

“Good Sports has supported our club to introduce policies around alcohol availability and the promotion of healthier choices. For example, we don’t allow sponsorship of our youth teams by alcohol-related businesses, and we don’t serve alcohol at our game-day canteen.”

“Good Sports has helped reduce alcohol and drug-related incidents at our club and has helped those seeking help towards resources and treatment options.”

Inclusivity and wellbeing are important

New Lambton Football Club says it’s committed to inclusivity, and everyone is welcomed and respected regardless of background or ability. The club also says it has a strong focus on personal development and well-being, offering resources and support for mental and physical health.

“We're more than just a club, we're a supportive, inclusive community dedicated to the holistic well-being of our members,” David concluded.

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