Sports Club Alcohol Awareness Pilot Project

Friday 9 April 2010, 7:56AM

Sports Club Alcohol Awareness Pilot Project in Final Stages as ALAC Launch National Campaign

The Say Now alcohol awareness project being delivered through North Canterbury sports clubs over the last few weeks as part of a pilot project will conclude today Thursday 8 April.

The Say Now project aims to inform and educate club committees, managers, coaches and players about what they can do to influence and make positive changes in behaviour towards alcohol use. The pilot in North Canterbury has had a very positive turn out to the sessions and feedback from attendees.

“As we have said all along, this is not about pointing the finger at sports clubs and saying they have a drinking problem, is about educating clubs and their members about the role that sports and sports clubs can play in helping curb the drinking culture in New Zealand”, says Sport Canterbury’s Project Manager, Jonny Kirkpatrick.

“Clubs are in an ideal position to capture key target groups and potentially the structures are there to positively influence their behaviour. Whether this is through players putting positive peer pressure on each other, coaches being good mentors who promote good messages, or club committees having policies and procedures in place that help create a positive alcohol environment”, he says.

Kirkpatrick says the approach taken is very much in line with that taken in the Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC)’s new television commercials launched last night. The advertisements focus on the things people can do to look after themselves and the people they care about around alcohol.

“This is exactly what we are doing,” says Kirkpatrick. “The Say Now project has been about providing individuals and clubs with the knowledge and understanding about the issues and then helping them develop the tools and ideas to be able to make this happen within their setting. A big part of the workshops has been about the players and members coming up with the ideas themselves. It’s not about thinking of clubs as the cause of the problem, but rather giving the tools to be part of the solution and getting them to think a little bit wider than just the impact on their team or club, or their sport, but rather their whole community.

It is great that a national campaign can complement and reinforce this locally piloted initiative so well”.

The Say Now project has been a collaborative project delivered by Sport Canterbury, the Police and the Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC)

The third and final Say Now session, aimed and club committees/boards, is being held Thursday 8 April from 7.30pm at the Saracen’s Southbrook Rugby Clubrooms.