Onkaparinga – the Good Sports Double Act Taking Action on Illegal Drugs Policy
In the Balhanna area of the Adelaide Hills, sits Onkaparinga. Four courts under lights nestled within the trees of a local park. About to take over as president at the end of the year, Katie Martin already has a full plate at Onkaparinga. Because ‘Onkaparinga’ isn’t just a sporting club…it’s two sporting clubs – and Katie works behind the scenes at both. Katie is currently the Vice President of one club, and the Secretary of the other. She’s also been the driving force behind both clubs joining the Good Sports program. Katie says it’s important that everyone knows both Onkaparinga Tennis Club and Onkaparinga Netball Club are both Good Sports clubs, because it goes hand-in-hand with what they represent to the people of Balhannah. One of the policies they are most enthusiastic about is the Tackling Illegal Drugs program.
Onkaparinga are now in their second ‘season’ as a Good Sports ‘double act’, with both the tennis and the netball club signed up to the program. So far Good Sports has been a great fit for both organisations. Katie says the Good Sports team has been “so supportive, answering all our questions, no matter when or where they are”. The members have seen the change at the club too, noticing the increasing amount of proud display in their status as a Good Sports club.
Meet the lady with a busy week and a passion for community sport
When it comes to Onkaparinga, Katie literally gives it everything she’s got in every way. When asked how she ended up assuming roles at both Onkaparinga Netball Club and Onkaparinga Tennis Club, Katie is endearingly self-deprecating in her response. “It fell into my lap really…it’s probably because I can use a computer” she laughs. When provoked to decide between tennis and netball as her preferred sport, “I’m just as passionate about both, and that’s why I do so much for both of the clubs.” Katie is the absolute definition of an ‘all-rounder’ in the community sport game – she plays, she coaches, she referees netball matches, all while taking care of club business behind the scenes.
The heart of the community with a big responsibility
The Onkaparinga Netball Club, established in 1947, has been an Adelaide Hills institution for over 60 years. The Onkaparinga Tennis Club, while slightly younger, has also been going for over 40 years. Both call Balhannah’s Johnston Memorial Park their home. The club as well as being a sports venue is part of the community landscape – in more ways than one. “It’s where everyone congregates”, Katie says. She has been with Onkaparinga since she was a junior player, so the club is truly part of her identity. It is something she is proud to be a part of, look after, and grow for the future generations. “It’s the heart of the community…it’s smack-bang in the middle of the town”.
Like many Australian communities, Balhannah has a number of challenges to face. Katie says being part of the Good Sports program has played a big part in addressing these challenges. She says having policies such as the Tackling Illegal Drugs policy in place has been integral. Through the policies they feel better able to uphold Onkaparinga as a place where everybody can come and feel at home. It is a venue where a number of junior players and spectators spend time. For this and many other reasons, Onkaparinga takes their responsibility in being a healthy environment for them very seriously.
Setting standards as a sports venue and a community hub
Since Onkaparinga implemented the Tackling Illegal Drugs policy, it has helped them facilitate important conversations around the issue of illegal drugs, not just with members, but the community as a whole. It has also helped them with taking a proactive approach to setting standards for the club as a sports venue and a community environment. “When people see the Good Sports signs up, people know what we expect in terms of behaviour while they’re on club grounds.” Katie praises the policy for making it easier for Onkaparinga to maintain its place as a healthy, family-friendly venue where the locals can come together, play sport, have fun, and grow as an already strong community.
To find out more about Onkaparinga, check out the Onkaparinga Tennis Club website, and the Onkaparinga Netball Club website! You can also follow them on their Facebook, and the Onkaparinga Tennis Club on their Facebook!
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To complete your club’s Tackling Illegal Drugs Policy, log in to the Club Portal here.