BY ALEXANDER LEWIS
Parents watching their kids play sport on the weekend will have to learn to cheer without beer as Leichhardt council cracks down on those who like to knock back a few on the sidelines.
The council made it compulsory in June for clubs wishing to use Leichhardt fields next year to become accredited with the Australian Drug Foundation’s Good Sports programme.
A workshop was held with sporting clubs on August 10, and clubs are now undertaking the three-stage accreditation process.
Councillors were updated on the process at an ordinary meeting last week, with many clubs having already become accredited.
Council congratulated those sporting clubs in the Leichhardt local government area which were already accredited with the Good Sports Program and that had taken a proactive approach to tackling the health issues of alcohol, smoking, obesity and mental health in their respective sporting environments.
Leichhardt Mayor Rochelle Porteous said the outcome had been positive.
“Alcohol and children playing sport don’t mix,” Clr Porteous said.
“It’s about good process. It’s ensuring that parents of the clubs are aware of the issue of alcohol around juniors playing sports.”
“Obviously there’s quite a number of the club’s who’ve already engaged in the process. It’s something we’d like to see all the clubs engaged with.”
The programme is a “simple but effective in improving the way alcohol is managed at sporting clubs”, according to goodsport.com.au.
“It’s for sport lovers involved in playing, watching or organising at any level – from grassroots right through to elite,” the site reads.
And clubs don’t seem fazed by the additional red tape.
Leichhardt Saints Football Club President Liza Schaeper said the club supported the council’s Good Sports Initiative.
“Leichhardt Saints Football Club is a family club,” Ms Schaeper said.
“Children’s sport and alcohol don’t mix.”
According to figures released by the ABS in May of this year, alcohol consumption in Australia is at its lowest levels for decades, for people aged 15 years and over.
Fifty years ago, beer made up three quarters of all alcohol consumed, but now makes up under half, at 41 per cent.
According to the figures, the popularity of mid strength beer has grown, while low strength beer makes up 5 per cent of the national consumption.
Pre-mixed beverages increased from 13 per cent in 1963-1964 to 19 per cent in 2013-14
The consumption of wine has increased from 12 per cent of all beverages to 38 per cent of all beverages.
OLGR did not respond to City Hub’s request for comment in time for print.