6th January, 2021 — Membership and management
Winning clubs guide good behaviour
Clubs take charge of their own standards of behaviour, creating a protective environment to benefit members.
Sporting clubs are places to learn life lessons and meet great mates. The right club can become like a second family.
That’s why local sporting clubs are in a unique position to influence their members, visitors and the community in general.
Sporting clubs have always been big influencers on the block. Even now in the Instagram age, young people are still influenced by what goes on at their local sporting club.
It’s important that young people see healthy behaviour from peers, older siblings and adults. They are tuned into you. The expectations clubs put in place can have a huge impact on the way young people approach smoking, alcohol and other drugs later on.
For example, if they observe adults drinking at risky levels, this can normalise an unsafe drinking culture.
By role-modelling the right behaviours and offering a safe place to play sport, clubs are better positioned to leave a lasting and positive mark on their members’ lives.
How sporting clubs provide protection
Sport is great for the heart, soul and the mind. Playing sport at a young age improves memory, concentration and behaviour. It also promotes positive social behaviours like developing friendships, building trust and showing empathy.
That’s another reason why Good Sports clubs are an important protective factor against harm from alcohol and other drugs.
Being part of the local netball or soccer team, for example, is likely to make young people feel included and accepted. This is at a time when they are often finding their way, taking risks and feeling isolated.
Being accepted in the team at any age can lead to increased self-esteem and reduced stress and anxiety – feelings that are often linked to alcohol and drug use.
Playing sport can also increase feelings of self-control and self-regulation, leading to smarter decision making.
For example, athletes might be less inclined to smoke cigarettes because cigarette smoking is viewed by their peers as unhealthy and can damage their sporting performance.
Responding to illegal drug issues
Would you know what to do if an issue with illegal drugs occurred with members or guests at your club? Good Sports clubs can include a section in your policy on illegal drugs. This will enable you to respond appropriately if an incident happens.
When dealing with alcohol or illicit drug use at a sporting club, it is important that members and young people are dealt with fairly, with respect and without added stigma.
The goal is to reduce further harm on not only the club, but also the individual and their family.
Use your influence for good
You might not have 100,000 followers on Facebook, but Good Sports clubs are aware of their role as influencers. They work hard to provide a healthy, positive and nurturing environment for all members and guests to enjoy.
Good Sports works together with local sporting clubs, helping them to build strong foundations to provide a safe and supportive environment for everyone to enjoy sport.