GRASSROOTS sporting clubs have one of the most important roles to play in tackling drug use, according to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF).
With more than 40 per cent of Australians over the age of 14 admitting they have tried an illicit drug, and with a quarter of Australians either participating in or watching community sport, ADF acting WA state manager Samantha Menezes said these clubs had become the hub of many communities and as such, were perfectly placed to prevent or reduce drug-related harm.
“Sporting clubs are a snapshot of society and illegal drug use can affect all areas of society – meaning no club is immune,” she said.
“Drug use can impact both the person using drugs and other team members – there is no safe level of drug use and use of any drug always carries some risk.
“Clubs who are not considering their duty of care and are not developing policies and procedures around illegal drugs are not in a great position should a drug-related incident occur.
“We want clubs to be proactive rather than reactive.”
In a bid to help Perth clubs become more proactive, the ADF has begun hosting Tackling Illegal Drugs (TID) forums, where they discuss drug-related issues including what can be done if drugs are found, how to respond if someone is under the influence of drugs and what to do if someone is found dealing drugs at their club.
Sixteen Perth sporting clubs, including the Kwinana Tigers Hockey Club, were at the ADF’s recent TID forum.
Kwinana Tigers president Mick Matthews said they decided to join the forum because they wanted to provide a safe place for all of their members.
“The club found the forum very informative and provided great advice on management of drugs and alcohol,” he said.
“The club believes that responsible management of drugs and alcohol enables our members to perform better both on field and off field.
“We believe drugs are a massive detriment to people’s lives both on and off field and the club accepts it has the responsibility to help the community with the issue of drugs.”
Visit www.goodsports.com.au/programs/tackling-illegal-drugs-program for more information on the Tackling Illegal Drugs project.
Clubs that attended the TID forum
Tuart Hill Junior Soccer Club
Stirling Cricket Club
Coogee Beach Surf Lifesaving Club
Claremont-Nedlands Cricket Club
Perth Cricket Club
Melville Cricket Club
Scarborough District Cricket Club
Wanneroo City Soccer Club
Ashfield Sports Club
Kwinana Tigers Hockey Club
City of Perth Surf Lifesaving Club
West Coast Amateur Football Club
Wembley Downs Junior Football Club
Melville City Hockey Club
Modernians Hockey Club
UWA Cricket Club