Clubs have a wonderful opportunity to create a place that contributes positively to the well-being of people in the local community.

A scan of the factors affecting our communities’ health and wellbeing right now, gives us insight into the needs of people in our clubs.

Here are some telling facts:
  • 1 in 4 Australian students are experiencing bullying.
  • 1 in 5 Australians have experienced symptoms of a mental disorder in the past 12 months.
  • There’s an average of 8 suicides per day in Australia.
  • Australia has one of the highest rates of reporting of sexual harassment in the world.
  • Family violence is the leading cause of illness, death and disability for Australian women between the ages of 17-45.
  • Alcohol’s annual burden to Australian society is $36 billion, with direct costs to government nearing $10 billion.
  • The social cost of gambling to the community is estimated to be at least $4.7 billion a year.

We can expect these national trends, as well as others, to be reflected in our clubs.

Sport mirrors society. 
So, what role is there for sporting clubs in helping their members who are dealing with these issues?

If you look back at the data, you’ll notice that all of these issues are preventable.

That is, with the right information, provided in the right way, clubs could, at a minimum, educate people about the causes and cures of these diseases.

Below are some helpful tips and resources to educate yourself and your members about some of these serious, life changing factors.

Most importantly, these resources give you the language to talk about these issues and point people to places where they can access help.

You’re not expected to be an expert in disease prevention.
But you can be a vital link between your club members and the information and resources that can contribute to their well-being.
  • Bullying

    Understanding what bullying really is.

    • It’s the repeated and intentional targeting of someone aimed at hurting them; it’s not a one-off event.
    • It’s a form of violence that manifests in different ways; verbal abuse, psychological and emotional abuse, physical actions, manipulative and covert strategies and through social media.
    • Bullying is present in all parts of society and is something that all sporting clubs need to contend with. 


    Get expert advice at:

  • Depression and Anxiety

    Depression and anxiety can be difficult to observe in others.

    • You might notice changes in a person’s behaviour like becoming more withdrawn, being highly stressed for a prolonged period, or fluctuating suddenly between the two.
    • The best thing sporting clubs can do is keep messaging to their members about signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety and where they can go to get help. 


    Get expert advice at:

  • Suicide

    The rates of suicide in the Australian population are extremely high.

    • This means that it’s likely that clubs will have members who are having suicidal thoughts or have friends or family who are dealing with the suicide of someone close to them .
    • Clubs should message to all members to be ready for when a person comes forward to discuss their suicidal thoughts. We’ve developed the BASIC guide to help you in these moments.
    • In these situations, the key is really listening to the person, and supporting them to access advice from the correct agencies.


    Get expert advice at:

  • Family violence
    • The rates of family violence in the Australian society are in epidemic proportions.
    • Your club should expect that there are members who are either a victim, or perpetrator, of family violence.
    • Clubs should message to all members to be ready for when a person comes forward to discuss family violence. We have developed our BASIC guide to help people with these moments.
    • Club members should support these people by linking them to the following support services.


    Get expert advice at:

  • Alcohol
    • Sporting clubs are often dealing with the impact of alcohol in and around the club.
    • Club Respect recognises the wonderful work that Good Sports have done in this space to support clubs, check them out.


    Get expert advice at:

  • Drugs
    • There are countless issues caused by drugs and drug addictions in our society. Sporting clubs will definitely see the impact of drugs upon people in their community.
    • Club Respect recognises the excellent resource of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) and recommends you utilise this as a resource to assist you to support your members.


    Get expert advice at:

  • Gambling
    • So many social issues in our community are linked to problem gambling. Your club is likely to have people who do have a gambling addiction.
    • The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation is an excellent resource to help people dealing with gambling. It also has resources to help you with your messaging around the club.


    Get expert advice at:

Appoint and train an MPIO in your club

Member Protection Information Officers (MPIO’s) can act as a point of contact for people seeking support. They are trained to offer independent information and advice. Play by the Rules offer a free MPIO training course.