4th May, 2023 — Road safety
Coorong Cats keeping safe on country roads
Getting home safe is top of mind for the Coorong Cats who will travel around 5,000 kms to training, matches and meetings this year.
For National Road Safety Week this May, the South Australian Good Sports club is sharing its game plan for safe transport.
“We spend a long time behind the wheel, so road safety is a priority for us,” says Adam Hurle, President of the Coorong Cats Football Committee.
“The townships of Meningie, Coonalpyn, and Tintinara form the backbone of our club and they are up to 80 kms apart.”
“A lot of our membership base volunteer for the local emergency services so they know first-hand the impact of road trauma in a small rural community.”
Safe transport practices
The club has hosted SAPOL sessions to educate its members about the five fatal causes of road trauma such as drink and drug driving, speeding, distractions, not wearing seatbelts correctly and people disregarding road rules.
The club has also appointed a Road Safety Advocate who ensures the issue is high on everyone’s agenda and visible around the club rooms.
Carpooling is encouraged and buses are chartered for junior footballers and netballers so that their parents don’t get too tired driving long distances.
Adam explains that the club’s training schedule is in four-week blocks and is rotated around the three townships to minimise travel distances.
Tips for clubs to stay safe on the roads
Adam’s tips for getting members and guests home safely from rural or regionally based sporting clubs are:
- Make sure that your Responsible Service of Alcohol is in play on game days.
- Remind people about fatigue, which increases the risk of accidents whilst driving.
- Encourage different travel options such as carpooling, designated drivers or taking a bus.
- Have good lighting in your car park, especially on weekend nights, so that everyone can see what is happening.
- If long distances are involved for games, book accommodation for those who want to stay overnight.
Adam says that Good Sports helped the club develop its Safe Transport Plan.
“Having downloadable resources, information and different ideas is what helps us get the best out of Good Sports.
We’re focused on looking after everyone and ensuring that sport remains strong for local generations to enjoy.”
The Coorong Cats recently united the Meningie and Border Downs Tintinara football and netball clubs and now fields eight football teams and 13 netball teams.
In South Australia, the Good Sports program is a partner of the South Australian Government through the THINK! Road Safety initiative, working to remind all South Australians that road trauma can be prevented when everyone thinks about their own behaviour when driving, riding, or walking.