17th March, 2022 — Club culture
ARKS Rugby Union Club creates fans for life
Playing fields full of happy families make ARKS Rugby Union Club tick.
Each week the whole club gets together to train, starting early with the little ‘rugrats’ team up to the Under 18s and seniors.
With so many Mums and Dads watching on, there’s a great community spirit says Melissa Viney, ARKS Rugby Union Club Secretary.
She says that locals even join in and play in the playgrounds during training to soak up the family friendly atmosphere.
Good Sports benefits ARKS
Melissa praises Good Sports for helping the Harrisdale club grow off the pitch as well as on it.
With more than 250 junior members, the club is passionate about providing a safe environment for everyone.
“We have been very excited and proactive to obtain our Gold Medal accreditation as a Good Sports Club in 2021 and are implementing positive changes to make it an even better club.
“ARKS now has in place a better alcohol policy, has reinforced its no smoking and drug use policies, shared mental health resources, and planned functions and away games to include safe transport home.”
Changing the drinking culture
At the suggestion of Good Sports, the club has introduced a token system to replace the carton of beer served in the change rooms at the end of each seniors' game. With the tokens, players can now head up to the club room to buy an alternate drink or non-alcoholic drink.
The bar opens only after all the junior games have finished and the senior games have begun.
Other new initiatives include a zero-alcohol policy at junior games, free water, tea, coffee and Milo at all events. Plus, 0% alcohol drinks and lower percentage drinks at reduced prices at the bar.
Positively impacting the community
At ARKS it isn’t just about joining a team but joining a community, providing support both on and off the field.
The club aims to be a healthy and welcoming place for all locals. During junior carnival time the club showcases what it has on offer. The canteen is in full swing and there are cake stalls and raffles.
A parent of an Under 15 player owns a cafe and coffee van called Art vs Depression. They set up their van each training night and at home games to spread the word on mental health and deliver great coffee.
Another loyal supporter sponsors the club and offers members a free mental health first aid course.
It is no surprise that the ARKS club is a runner up for both the Good Sports 2021 Junior Club of the Year Award and the Good Sports 2021 WA State Club of the Year Award. Congratulations!