Wimmera sporting clubs challenged to go alcohol free

WIMMERA Drug Action Task Force has challenged Wimmera sporting clubs to go 'alcohol free' for three years.

The taskforce has joined forces with Game Changer - an initiative of former Horsham man Aaron Schultz -  to push clubs to create sporting environments where children can thrive.

Taskforce co-ordinator Brendan Scale said the partnership's 'Club with No Beer' campaign would see clubs source health-focused sponsorship.

He said it would promote healthy drinks, healthy foods, family inclusion and fun.

"What we are asking clubs to do is to commit to putting their kids first," he said.

"We know that for some clubs, to go without alcohol sponsorship and alcohol on the premises for three years is an incredibly ambitious challenge.

"But we also know that our young people are incredibly important and its time to put them first.

"At the end of the day we need to ask ourselves, 'How much do we value our young people?'"

Mr Schultz, who now lives in Hobart, created Game Changer to rid sport of alcohol and fast food.

He launched an ambitious campaign against Cricket Australia late last year, challenging it to lift its game, and is now concentrating on getting his message out at a grassroots level.

"It would mean having a football club or cricket club commit to no alcohol sales for three years," he said. "We would work with the club to create marketing strategies and help with funding to make up for lost revenue."

Mr Schultz said clubs that signed on as ambassadors would also need to promote healthy eating and lifestyles.

He said a junior football club in Hobart had just signed on as an ambassador and that he hoped other clubs would follow suit.

He said people could visit www.gamechanger.org.au or call Mr Scale on 0419 538 956 or 5362 1200 for more information.

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