Mandurah Dragon Boat Club hailed as community champions

The Mandurah Dragon Boat Club has been hailed as a community champion for reaching the highest level of the Good Sports program.

Managed by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, Good Sports is Australia's largest preventative health initiative in community sport.

To complete the highest level of the program, clubs must have a Good Sports approved alcohol management policy, provide safe transport options, have trained members in the responsible services of alcohol, ensure non-alcoholic and low alcohol drinks are cheaper than full strength alcoholic beverages, and provide free tap water.

Mandurah Dragon Boat Club president, Malcolm Anderson, said the club was proud to be part of the Good Sports community.

"Our club has benefited by being in the program because it has made us more aware of possible areas of concern that could arise, if we were not focused on maintaining our accreditation," he said.

"In recent years, the club has been very family oriented and safe and our accreditation has reinforced this as a matter of necessity and choice. Our members appreciate this wholesome environment.

"We have the choice to use the restaurant and bar facilities at our mother club, but this is used as a celebration or intentional social occasion rather than a regular part of our club culture. Since being accredited, we are now more aware of the difference."

Alcohol and Drug Foundation WA state manager, Greg Williams, applauded the efforts of the paddlers, labelling the club a community champion.

"The club is a fantastic role-model in community sport and should feel incredibly proud of its strong commitment to building a healthier and more inclusive club," he said.

"We know that the further a club progresses through the Good Sports program, the greater the positive impact on the club and broader community."

Working with more than 9,500 Aussie clubs, Good Sports offers participants free tools, resources and practical support to implement policies around alcohol management, tobacco, and safe transport.

It is proven to reduce risky drinking at participating clubs by 37 per cent and has seen a reduction of alcohol-related accidents among club members and supporters by 42 per cent.

Mr Williams added the program has also contributed to supporting positive and inclusive community sporting environments.

"Good Sports is building a healthier and more inclusive sporting nation by encouraging systemic changes in club culture to promote long-term positive health outcomes," he said.

"Community sporting clubs right across Australia have the opportunity to join Good Sports.

"Our staff are committed to guiding clubs through the free program, making it easier for already busy volunteers to implement."

For more information about the program, visit the website or Facebook page.