Boozy sports clubs and parents have been thrown into the spotlight by a provocative television commercial highlighting how Aussie kids can copy their sporting environment's drinking behaviour.
The TV commercial is part of a national campaign by the Australian Drug Foundation's (ADF) Good Sports Program and shows two young boys celebrating their sporting win by choosing to get 'wasted'. They're shown sculling their 'booze', getting into a scuffle and throwing up before singing "more beer, more beer".
ADF National Programs Manager Jon McGregor said parents and local sports leaders need to take responsibility and acknowledge that a boozy culture at clubs and codes has an impact on children.
"Which Australian kid has not looked up to an athlete, an Olympian or a professional sports person at some stage while growing up?
“Sports clubs are in a unique position to influence Australia's culture by leading by example - they deserve responsible role models," said Mr McGregor.
"Parents are the biggest influencers on their child's drinking behaviours so it's time for parents to ask the question - is their sports club a Good Sports Club?"
Supporting the campaign, Australian Father of the Year and Olympic Basketball player Andrew Gaze said sporting clubs need to pull up their socks and put a stop the country's love affair with booze.
"As a parent I believe picking the right sports club for your child is of paramount importance - I don't want my kid growing up in a binge drinking culture, they deserve a club which promotes a safe and healthy environment," said Mr Gaze.
"Our children are impressionable. Every elite athlete started their journey at a community sports club - they are the building blocks for Olympic gold."
A poll conducted by the Australian Drug Foundation found nearly 90% of parents are more likely to choose a sports club or code for their child if it manages alcohol responsibly. The poll's key findings include:
- 87% believe the drinking behaviour of professional sportspeople has an influence on young people.
- 93% agree that sporting organisations have a responsibility to create a sporting culture where alcohol is managed responsibly.
- 94% say sporting organisations in Australia have a responsibility to support their players to be positive role models.
Mr McGregor said the poll results send a clear message to professional sporting codes, clubs and parents that when it comes to alcohol and sport, everyone has a part to play in ensuring the next generation is part of a healthy drinking culture.
In addition to the TV commercial, people are being encouraged to discuss the issues around alcohol and sports on our social media channels.
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To find a Good Sports Club near you, go to www.goodsports.com.au