Club pushes road safety message
Young blokes and football clubs go hand-in-hand in many country towns.
But tragically, those young men are also often the victims of fatal road crashes.
In the past two years, clubs such as Kojonup and Wyndham are among those to lose players in road crashes.
Albany’s Railways Football Club also has a tragic history, having lost two much-loved club men in separate accidents more than a decade ago.
Sean Plaisted — after whom the award for the Great Southern Football League’s leading goal kicker is now named — was killed in a crash in 2001.
Leon Brodala, 21, was killed in 2005 when the car he was in crashed near Albany.
Railways president Andrew Want said the tragedies were a reminder of the importance of staying safe on the roads.
Mr Want said his club tried to promote road safety to its players and supporters. “It is a positive message,” he said.
“Wear seatbelts, don’t drink and drive, have a skipper or a designated driver.
“For a lot of us country blokes it is important we look after our mates and give them a bed for the night if they need it, whatever it takes to not let them drive.
“We try not to let anyone drink and drive and we push that message because, at the end of the day, we want them all back next week, the same as every club.”
Mr Want said the annual Belt Up round was a big day for the club and helped drive home the road safety message.
“It is a message we need to keep promoting,” he said.
“It is one we promote at our club and I am sure others are the same.
“Obviously we have had a couple (of road deaths) in our history and I reckon most footy clubs would have done, sadly. “It is not just our club. “The message is about all of us. “It might be a single car death but it affects whole communities and those things are forever.
“It affects everybody because we are a small community.”
WA Country Football League general manager Joseph Georgiades said the Belt Up round marked its 20th anniversary in this year and had played an important role across country football leagues.
“We are committed to trying to reduce the impact that serious road incidences have on our country communities, which has been devastating,” he said.
For a lot of us country blokes it is important we look after our mates. Andrew Want
Railways Football and Sporting Club president Andrew Want, centre, with players David Brown and Tyrone Haines.