6th December, 2023 — Alcohol

Safer drinking at sports clubs

As a Good Sports club, there are a few steps you can put in place to help members and guests drink responsibly – whether you have a bar at your club, or only alcohol at certain functions.

This can reduce the chance of drink driving, or other risky or antisocial behaviour.

Assaults, car crashes and ambulance call-outs all surge around big party days. Statistics show that before and after events like sporting grand finals, 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.

How much alcohol is too much?

What do we mean when we say ‘drink responsibly’?

The Aussie guidelines recommend:

  • no more than 4 standard drinks in one day, to reduce your risk of accident and injury
  • no more than 10 standard drinks in one week to reduce your risk of cancer and other disease
  • for under 18s and those who are pregnant and breastfeeding, no alcohol is the safest option.

Find out more about standard drinks.

Staying under the limit

When it comes to driving, it’s important to note that we all process alcohol differently.

It generally takes the body about 1 hour to process 1 standard drink, which is a helpful guide for how to stay under the limit of 0.05% BAC.

However, two people can drink the same amount of alcohol and have different BACs.

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.

Note that a ‘standard drink’ is different to one beer or one glass of wine. These often come in at more than 1 standard drink.

Find out more about Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).

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, or souvlakis. 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.

Plus, there are plenty of no- and low-alcohol drinks available from supermarkets these days.

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 drink 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 or borrow a couch for the night so everyone gets home safely.

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