Meet the QLD Good Sports Soccer Club at the Top of their Game
When a club is as beloved and entrenched in a community’s history as the Bardon Latrobe Football Club (BLFC), it can be hard to make changes. But recognising that some aspects of the culture can be improved in order to make the soccer club a more welcoming and healthier place to be is what has led BLFC to be the 2018 Good Sports Queensland Club of the Year.
Meet the first-ever ladies’ soccer team in Queensland
Founded in 1916, the club is proud to say it has welcomed members of all ages, genders and ability levels since its inception. In fact, they formed what they suspect was the first-ever ladies’ soccer team in Queensland in 1921. This culture of inclusiveness has carried on to the present day and the club is truly regarded as a beloved institution within the community where everyone is welcome.
However, as Club President Phillip Cowlishaw says, there were a few areas where the club needed to catch up to modern times.
“We have a wonderful culture of goodwill, mateship and fun. But I was also aware, that the club had unhealthy drinking, smoking and eating habits,” he says.
“We, the committee, also had very little knowledge and training on what the club’s responsibilities and duties were in regard to the sale of alcohol and the management of smoking. We had no policies, no signage and no expertise.”
They joined Good Sports in 2017 and have seen incredible changes in just over a year.
An exciting year of change
“2018 has been an exciting year of change at the club. We’re improving communication, accountability and financial transparency,” Phillip says.
“Good Sports has been an integral part of this change. The Good Sports logo appears on our social media sites and webpage. We are very proud to be a Good Sports Club. As a result of these changes, our soccer club is more family-friendly. And the clubroom is welcoming and less intimidating (especially for the kids and women).”
Phillip says one of the club’s biggest and best achievements was how easy and amicable it was to achieve. Their goal was to convince their members to stop the tradition of BYO alcohol. Member are now purchasing from the bar, staffed by members with an RSA qualification.
The soccer club is now compliant with liquor licensing laws, improving the drinking culture of the members. While in the past, the clubhouse would be mainly full of the men’s teams, now it’s not uncommon to see the ladies’ teams enjoying a glass of wine and a healthy snack following a game.
“It is a great honour for the club to receive this award and we are very proud to be a Good Sports Club,” Phillip says. “We plan on spending the prize money on installing an outside drinking water fountain and tap to fill water bottles. We will install this by the canteen to encourage players and members to drink water and not carbonated soft drinks.”