The Alcohol and Drug Foundation has announced Normanton Karumba Athletics is winner of this year's Good Sports Rookie Club of the Year, announced Wednesday at a ceremony at Parliament House, Canberra.
Good Sports clubs from across the country were honoured for their commitment to building healthy and inclusive environments, where members look out for one another around alcohol and tobacco management, safe transport, healthy eating, mental health and positive spectator behavior.
Normanton Karumba Athletics were chosen as the Good Sports Rookie Club of the Year which is awarded to a club that has recently joined the program and is inspiring positive change and taking responsibility for its members. The club receives $1000 for its achievement.
Normanton Karumba Athletics President, Jacob Daniels said their club is for the community.
"We joined up to Good Sports promote a healthy, safe and family friendly environment for our members," Mr Daniels said.
"We saw it as a great way for our volunteer members to further educate themselves and then able to pass these learnings onto our club members and the wider community."
Mr Daniels said that for several years the only junior sport available in their remote community was swimming which didn't appeal to everyone.
"We started the athletics club with support from local services and other stakeholders in the community to provide something for kids to do no matter what the age," he said.
Normanton Karumba Athletics has reached the highest level of the Good Sports program, implementing policies around alcohol management, tobacco, healthy eating and safe transport. It is also committed to providing a positive and supportive environment for their junior players through the Good Sports Junior program.
Mr Daniels said the biggest change they had seen at the club was the involvement of the parents.
"We are seeing a big increase in parental involvement with many of them helping out at training sessions, becoming more supportive of their children and taking a lot more of an interest in the club," he said.
The club is run by a group of volunteers who arrange free transport to and from the remote club and regularly fundraise to keep costs at a minimum.
"We have a group of extremely passionate volunteers who work week in, week out to make sure everyone is included. When someone is struggling, we get together and see what we can do to help out," Mr Daniels said.
"A proud moment for the club was when our volunteers were able to fundraise to take a team of twelve of our members to Atherton which is about 600km at no cost to the athletes. The club paid for the bus, accommodation, and registration fees."
Federal Minister for Sport, Richard Colbeck, congratulated each of the finalists.
CEO of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, Dr Erin Lalor praised this year's award winners and finalists, calling them community champions.
"All of the Good Sports Awards finalists should feel incredibly proud of their efforts in building strong, welcoming and healthy environments," Dr Lalor said.
"It's been a challenging year for sporting clubs with many having had their seasons cut short or cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we've also seen many Good Sports clubs go above and beyond to keep their members connected, engaged and healthy.
"The free program encourages systemic changes in club culture to promote long-term positive health outcomes."
Good Sports is proven to reduce risky drinking at participating clubs by 37% and has seen a reduction of alcohol-related accidents among Good Sports club members and supporters by 42%.
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