Royals claim top-club gong at Good Sports Awards

The Canberra Royals Rugby Union Football Club was last night named ‘Canberra Good Sports Club of the Year’ at the annual ACT Sport & Recreation Thanks Awards.

The ‘Canberra Good Sports Club of the Year’ award celebrates the Canberra Royals for promoting the values of the Australian Drug Foundation’s Good Sports program.

The Good Sports program works with clubs to help them provide safe and healthy environments through the responsible management of alcohol.

Good Sports works to reduce alcohol-related harms both within the community sporting clubs and wider community. More than 6000 clubs are involved with the program around Australia.

The Australian Drug Foundation’s Head of Community Programs, Maree Sidey, said the Awards recognise the sports clubs around Australia who are providing safe and healthy places for families to enjoy sport.

“As the Good Sports Regional Club of the Year, the Canberra Royals is showing the wider community that the club places the utmost importance on the health and wellbeing of their players, members and spectators,” Maree said.

Bill Swain, Canberra Royals Club Manager said that they were thrilled to be recognised for the impact they’ve made since joining Good Sports.

“Our involvement with the Good Sports program in 2013 has given us the ability to match our on-field performances - in which we made the ACT First Grade Grand Final for the first time in 12 years - with the same level of high performance and management with our off-field and social events.

“It has truly been a memorable season for the Canberra Royals both on and off the field and hopefully the beginning of a new successful era for our proud club.”

Prior to their involvement with Good Sports, the club recognised that they needed help to better manage alcohol.

Since joining the program the Canberra Royals have worked to make their club safer and healthier by training more staff in Responsible Service of Alcohol, providing ways for members to get home safely including taxi and bus services, by educating players about alcohol harms, and constantly reinforcing the Good Sports message.   

Since taking on these measures, the club says that there has been a steady change in the way people celebrate at the clubhouse – with more people feeling welcome due to less boozy behavior of a small few.

The club has attracted more members as a result and incidents of poor drinking behavior has dropped. Most significantly for the club, sponsorship has increased as local businesses see them as a great club to be associated with.  

The club will now go into the running for the national Good Sports awards, to be announced in November.

For more information about the Good Sports program, visit goodsports.com.au or find us on Facebook.com/GoodSportsClubs

Good Sports is supported by the ACT Government under the ACT Health Promotion Grants Program.

The 2013 Thanks Awards were held on Wednesday 16 October at the National Press Club. This year 36 individuals were recognised for their continued dedication to their chosen sporting clubs and organisation. This year the Centenary Club of the Month and Club of the Year awards as well as the Good Sports Award were also presented.