31st May, 2021
The Murray River Warriors are going next level
When long-time Albury rugby-fixture Margaret Stewart first heard about Good Sports, things weren’t exactly on the right track at Murray River Warriors.
They were facing many of the realities a lot of Good Sports clubs face and were looking for a way to help their club move forward. By working through the Good Sports program, the Warriors have come together as an organisation, lifting themselves up to become the kind of club they always wanted to be. This is their story.
Humble beginnings in Wiradjuri country
The Murray River Warriors started as a club about five years ago, and it’s been a journey full of big challenges and little wins that have helped the club grow and thrive over time. “We started as a touch side for young boys”, Margaret reveals.
She says the club’s mission from day one was to “give the boys something positive to do, to help them get into sports.” Eventually they expanded to become home to a women’s touch rugby team.
When the Scott Hargrave Clinic Murray Cup Rugby League was developed (incorporating eight rugby league teams to develop a rugby league on the NSW Border and surrounds), the Warriors ventured into the world of rugby league and grew even further.
They won the Cup in their first year in the competition, but at the time, all was not well for Murray River. “Some issues were arising”, Margaret concedes. “We decided to take a proactive approach, both with our players and the families. They're like family to our club.”
Margaret and several other volunteers came together to form a new committee to get things on the upswing. They wanted to build up their reputation in the local community and tackle the issues head on.
After a member of the Albury City Council introduced the Murray River Warriors committee to the Good Sports program, they were impressed by the policies available to participating clubs. They saw the next step, not the next hurdle.
How the Murray River Warriors became an accredited Good Sports club
After reviewing plans for alcohol and smoking management, “we saw how they could and should implement them at the club” Margaret says. “I said to everyone, “this is the path. This is where we want to go”. It was what we’d always wanted, but we saw how Good Sports could make it happen at our club.”
The Warriors achieved their Good Sports accreditation, and have put a complete ban on alcohol advertising at the club. Their Grand Final Day was completely alcohol-free, and despite initial worries about lower attendance figures, “it was a full ground. Everybody came and it was a great day”, Margaret beams. “We showed that our supporters will come down, watch the final, and have fun with the family. With or without alcohol”.
A rural rugby club setting their own path
Margaret believes their club has now built a solid standing within the Albury area. Not only that, they’re now a great example for other clubs in the area. “I always tell the other local clubs about Good Sports. They can see what it’s done for us. It’s easier to change things when we’re all working towards the same goal”.
For now, the Warriors have set their own path, and have already started to come into their own. “We’re heading for even better things, one day at a time.”
You can find out more about the Murray River Warriors by following them on Facebook!
Continue completing your action plan and get your policy signed on the Good Sports club portal.