Receiving the Good Sports Northern Territory Club of the Year in 2015, the University Azzurri Football Club continues to demonstrate their outstanding commitment to ensuring their club is an inclusive, safe and healthy place for families to enjoy football.
This year, they set their sights on what they consider the second biggest issue facing Territorians, after
alcohol — illicit drugs.
“Further to our efforts to address the issues around alcohol, we’re aware of the role our club can play in both discouraging illicit drug use through actively addressing the issue using our club’s Tackling Illegal Drug policy and procedures, and helping members who may already be involved in drugs to seek professional help and recover from their addiction,” says Club President John Kassaras.
“Fortunately, we’ve never encountered illicit drug use at our club; however, our club is acutely aware of the need to develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure we have the tools to minimise the likelihood of, and address the problem of, illegal drug use in sport.”
It is exactly this pragmatic and proactive approach to the program that has earned the club the 2018 Good Sports Tackling Illegal Drugs Club of the Year award.
The Darwin-based club appointed a Member Welfare Officer to help with the rollout of their policy and who provided training to committee members, with particular emphasis on intervention techniques and linking to appropriate support resources such as Kids Helpline, ThinkUKnow, Parentline and Headspace.
They’ve also been able to disseminate the policy through e-newsletters and on their social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. John says they plan on using the prize money to purchase new poster boards for change rooms to display posters that promote positive behaviours and support services. They will also use the money for new training equipment, such as balls, bibs and marker cones, and spend the remainder on volunteer training.
“As a previous winner of the Good Sports Northern Territory Club of the Year award, winning this award reinforces the positive influence our club has in our community and further promotes the philosophy and policies of the Good Sport program in the Darwin community, which has historically struggled with alcohol related harm in the community, including violence, social and health impacts,” John says.
“Prevention is always the priority, and our club’s philosophy is that education is the key to minimising the risk of illegal drugs in the community.”
*** Media release from Good Sports ***