28th February, 2024 — Club culture

Orange United crowned Club of the Year, Safe Transport Award winner

New South Wales’ Orange United Sports Club was awarded Good Sports 2023 National Club of the Year.

The regional club also took out the Safe Transport Award, NSW Club of the Year and were runners-up for the Mental Health Excellence Award and Junior Club of the Year.

The community sport champions were recognised for their work with the Good Sports program, in tackling topics like alcohol, illicit drugs, smoking, mental health and safe transport.

Club President, Katrina Hausia said the program has helped Orange United adapt these practices over six different sporting codes including basketball, netball, touch football, soccer, league tag, cultural dance, and rugby league.

“Good Sports has shown us the importance of modelling positive behaviours not just on home turf, but out in the wider community too,” Katrina said.

Hosted by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation at Parliament House, Canberra in February 2024, the Awards ceremony recognised Good Sports clubs and their dedicated volunteers from across the country who are passionate about community, their members and making their club the very best it can be.

Members’ wellbeing at the forefront

Reaching and exceeding the highest level of the Good Sports program, Orange United educates their members on risky alcohol and drug use, and delivers events and activities around mental health, including mandatory education for officials, coaches, and senior players.

Safe transport champions

The club also works hard to help their members get home safe.

“Our club does not supply alcohol, or have it consumed at our home games. After identifying fatigue was a risk for some players driving more than 2 hours both ways to play, we introduced courtesy buses to help them stay safe.”

Everyone should be able to access sport

“Our clubs’ focus is improving access to mainstream sport for local Indigenous families and others. We will support anyone to overcome any barrier, whether that means reduced membership fees, uniform costs, transport, or daily expenses.

Orange United also partner with community organisations to help young people access a range of health and support services, such as medical appointments, mentoring programs, tutoring, employment services and fitness initiatives.

“To win these awards is such a huge thing for a small club that started from nothing and is run solely by volunteers – we are so excited, not just for ourselves but for NSW and the Orange community,” said Katrina.

“Winning the Good Sports Club of the Year award is such an honour and everyone who is associated with our club will carry this with pride. We would not have been able to achieve all we have without the advice and support received from Good Sports.”

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