By Ben Hope
AS THE winter sport season begins, Cardinia sporting clubs are being encouraged to be aware of their duty when it comes to the responsible service of alcohol.
Brian Nankervis, a project officer with the Australian Drug Foundation’s (ADF) Good Sports program, said he hoped Cardinia clubs could avoid the negative attention that had plagued sporting clubs across Victoria in recent years.
“If we can save just one life or prevent serious harm involving a sports club member then it will be worthwhile,” Nankervis said.
“It’s about preventative maintenance. There have been several incidents involving sporting clubs and excessive drinking across the state in the last few years.”
“We want to stop any of the clubs in Cardinia from having alcohol-related incidents and attracting negative attention.”
The Good Sport program is funded in Victoria by VicHealth, the Transport Accident Commission and the Department of Human Services. It aims to make sporting clubs more family friendly with a change in club culture to focus more on the sport and less on alcohol.
“We’re not saying, ‘don’t drink at all’, but what we are saying is, make sure the drinking is happening responsibly,” Nankervis said.
He said many laws that applied to licensed premises also applied to local sporting clubs. Compliance inspectors can and will enter clubs in plain clothes to look for under-age drinking, intoxicated people, trading outside nominated hours and any noise, traffic or vandalism issues created by people leaving the clubs.
“Clubs can be held at least partially responsible if they are deemed to have supported excessive drinking,” Nankervis said.
“We offer guidelines to prevent alcohol incidents by talking to the clubs about their liquor license and what it means,” he said.
“We also run discounted Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) courses to keep the clubs out of the eye of the liquor licensing inspectors and the police.”
For details about RSA seminars in Cardinia go to www.goodsports.com.au
By Ben Hope