Clubs spear­head drug fight

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - STREET WATCH -

THE Fed­eral Govern­ment will con­trib­ute $4.6 mil­lion to lo­cal sport­ing clubs to help raise aware­ness of the ef­fects of the drug ice.

Sports clubs will be part of the grass­roots cam­paign in the Na­tional Ice Ac­tion Strat­egy through the Good Sports pro­gram.

The pro­gram al­ready pro­motes the re­spon­si­ble con­sump­tion of al­co­hol in about 7000 sport­ing clubs but will re­ceive the ex­tra fund­ing over four years to pro­mote the mes­sage against ice.

Swan MHR Steve Irons said the Good Sports pro­gram reached South Perth Cricket Club and Man­ning Rip­pers Foot­ball Club with many more clubs show­ing sup­port for the cause.

“Ex­tend­ing the pro­gram to ed­u­cate about ice will help con­vince young peo­ple not to try the drug through learn­ing about it from peers in an en­vi­ron­ment they trust,” Mr Irons said.

“If we can spread this mes­sage at the lo­cal level and let the com­mu­nity take ac­tion it will have a big­ger ef­fect.”

Mr Irons said bring­ing the mes­sage against ice to fu­ture sport­ing stars was the best place to start.

“If we en­cour­age young peo­ple, our fu­ture sport­ing cham­pi­ons, to stay away from il­licit drugs then there will be less in­flu­ence in our com­mu­nity,” he said.

“Hav­ing sport clubs, coaches and role mod­els pro­mote th­ese mes­sages to young play­ers will have a big im­pact on the way they look at drugs and al­co­hol which will ex­tend to peers out­side the sport group and into the wider com­mu­nity.”

South Perth Cricket Club pres­i­dent Steve Barry said it was im­por­tant for lo­cal clubs to raise aware­ness on the is­sues as­so­ci­ated with il­licit drugs and al­co­hol.

Man­ning Rip­pers Foot­ball Club pres­i­dent Michael Tindall said the pos­i­tive mes­sage needed to be en­forced by peo­ple that young ath­letes looked up to and trusted.

“If young play­ers are tempted later on in life hope­fully they can look back and re­mem­ber where we stood and the mes­sages and lessons we taught them when they first en­tered the sport,” Mr Tindall said.

The pro­gram hopes to pre­vent fur­ther drug-re­lated deaths in young peo­ple.

Not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion

d449111 Sid­ef­fect was formed when promis­ing foot­baller Pre­ston Bridge fell from a bal­cony and died af­ter tak­ing a syn­thetic LSD.

Rod Bridge, Pre­ston’s father, formed the or­gan­i­sa­tion af­ter Pre­ston (16) died in 2013, and at­tracted a range of mem­bers, in­clud­ing Grey­hounds WA chief ex­ec­u­tive David Hobbs.

Pic­ture: Marie Nirme

Grey­hounds WA chief David Hobbs, Man­ning Rip­pers vice-pres­i­dent Scott Greer, Swan MHR Steve Irons, Man­ning Rip­pers pres­i­dent Michael Tindall and Rod­ney Bridge.

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