5th January, 2021 — Alcohol

Safer drinking at sports clubs

There are a few steps you can put in place for responsible drinking. This can reduce the likelihood that risky drinking behaviour occurs at your club.

The recommended intake is no more than 4 standard drinks in one day, to reduce your risk of accident and injury, and no more than 10 standard drinks in one week to reduce your risk of cancer and other disease. And of course, for under 18s and pregnant people, no alcohol is the safest option.

Assaults, car crashes and ambulance call-outs all surge around big party days. Statistics show that before and after events like the Melbourne Cup and AFL Grand Final day, ambulance call outs increase.

Your club can play an important role in setting a great example to members and guests. Covering alcohol management in your Good Sports policy will ensure you’ve got strategies in place, so everything goes smoothly when alcohol is involved.

Standards have been set

The Australian Guidelines recommend drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion, and no more than 10 per week. This will reduce your lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury.

These recommendations are a good guide, but it’s important to note that we all process alcohol differently. Physical factors like our size and weight can have a big effect on how alcohol affects us.

Other factors include:

  • whether the person is used to drinking alcohol
  • whether other drugs are taken around the same time (including prescription medication)
  • the amount a person has drunk
  • the strength of the drink.

Let's talk tactics

There are many simple ways that we can limit our intake throughout the sporting season and event days, making the day memorable for all the right reasons.

Fill up with a feast

Finals and food go hand in hand. If you’re hosting your club (or even your mates) for the big game, fire up the barbeque and make sure that your guests have access to tasty, stomach-filling food. Or if your club has a canteen, you can stock it with delicious and healthy options.

Think beyond snags with bread. Souvlakis mate! People can add their own salads and sauces to the pitas and marinated meat. Have a vegetarian or vegan option too.

Embrace cultural diversity at your club. Members who trace their origins from around the globe will love to shake things up with fresh and delicious ideas.

Non-alcoholic extravaganza

Just as snags are the boring basics for a barbecue, it’s easy to get lazy with the drinks wagon.

Many non-alcoholic drinks look amazing, taste amazing and are way cheaper than the usual alcoholic suspects.

A bit of Googling “Top 10 Non-Alcoholic Drinks” will release your inner creative mocktail genius.

Take it one half at a time

Here’s a drinking game that will mean you never miss a moment of finals play. Limit your drinking to the official breaks at the sporting event.

Sipping constantly on your drinks while the game is in play will make it hard to keep track of your own score.

Look out for your mates

Learn to recognise the effects of alcohol and look after your friends and family if they have had too much to drink.

If you’re the designated driver, take your role seriously. After all, your mates’ lives are in your hands. If you’re even a little bit unsure of your ability to drive, book a taxi so everyone gets home safely.

Safe celebrations toolkit

Here are some more tips and guidelines to keep celebrations safe.

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