Palmerston Rugby Union Club – 2018 Good Sports NT Club of the Year
It’s a sign of a truly great sports club when hordes of people are willing to stick their hands up to volunteer whenever a game or event takes place. Ben Blyton, President of the Palmerston Rugby Union Club, says he is often told how lucky he is to have so many volunteers to call upon. But as he says, it’s less to do with luck and more to do with the positive, dedicated and family-friendly culture his team has cultivated over the years. It’s for this reason that Palmerston Rugby Union Club are the 2018 Good Sports Northern Territory Club of the Year.
The importance of providing kids with the opportunity to grow
“We are lucky — to have so many people who value the importance of providing kids with the opportunity to grow and develop in a sport they love, in supportive teams, in a club that is constantly striving to do the
‘right thing’ by the kids, their families, and our wider community,” Ben says. “But we have achieved this level of ‘luck’ through living the Good Sports values.” The club have steadily levelled up through the Good Sports program, acheiving their level 3 accreditation in 2014.“We wanted to be proactive, and the Good Sports program provided the tools to formalise our club’s attitude and approach towards alcohol,” Ben says.
Providing a safe environment for both players and supporters
“By following the practices required to maintain our Good Sports accreditation, we have demonstrated our commitment. We’re promoting a responsible attitude towards alcohol and providing a safe environment for
both players and supporters. We are recognised as a family-friendly club and club sponsorship and grant funding has increased accordingly.”This strong reputation and increase in funding has allowed the club to hold an annual Junior Rugby 7s Tournament, a five-week club-run event held on Friday nights for all junior players age groups. The tournament is free to all clubs in the Top End. They warmly welcome new players.
“We believe that it is important to provide another local option for juniors to play sport in a safe, supportive environment in Palmerston,” Ben says.
“Since its inception in 2013, the tournament has gone from strength to strength.
The local community is excited to be part of the tournament, which is fundamental to its success. Ben says because of Good Sports, they have become a club that the Palmerston community are proud to be
involved with, meaning they are never short of volunteers.
A fantastic example of local community spirit
“Each week [of the tournament] sees on average over 50 club volunteers involved in running the event, as referees, coaches, team managers, helping out on the BBQ, setting up, packing up and the many other support roles required. A fantastic example of local community spirit!”