GOOD SPORTS: The Australian Alcohol and Drug foundation recently host a Good Sports Tackling Illegal Drugs forum in Hervey Bay.
GOOD SPORTS: The Australian Alcohol and Drug foundation recently host a Good Sports Tackling Illegal Drugs forum in Hervey Bay. Contributed

Forum to tackle drug use in Granite Belt sports clubs

WHAT do you do when you discover someone in your sports team is using drugs?

The Good Sports Tackling Illegal Drugs forum is headed to Stanthorpe to answer that question.

On September 25 sports groups are invited to the Civic Centre to discuss how to prepare for potential drug-related issues.

President of Stanthorpe Sports Association Colin Britton said this forum was important for not just club representatives but volunteers, players and other people around the clubs.

"It really it is about having people who can identify and understand the risks and understand how to provide support and get people to the right place,” Britton said.

"For us that's the most important thing.”

The Australian Alcohol and Drug Foundation Queensland regional community development manager Grant Brown will be hosting the Stanthorpe forum.

Australian Alcohol and Drug Foundation Queensland regional community development manager Grant Brown will host the Stanthorpe tackling illegal drugs forum.
Australian Alcohol and Drug Foundation Queensland regional community development manager Grant Brown will host the Stanthorpe tackling illegal drugs forum. Anthony Evans

He said the foundation recognised sporting clubs played an important role in communities and were the best place to start conversations around drug use.

"They're kind of the social fabric of the local community,” Brown said.

"There's a lot of positive benefits of playing in a local community sporting club.

"There's a sense of belonging, there's a sense of purpose, and a sense achievement... they're a real hub in the community.

"If clubs are really well prepared to deal with the issues that may arise that impact on communities, then that's going to put both the club and their club members in better standing.”

He said although drug issues could impact any club in any league, there were some demographic trends in usage.

"We do know male team sports have the highest use of alcohol, possibly due to team bonding and higher levels of risk taking among males.

"Illegal drug use normally peaks in that age bracket between 20 to 29; males are slightly more likely to use illegal drugs.

"However illegal drug use, mostly cannabis, is rising with people over the age of 40.

"What that shows is illegal drug use is prevalent across a whole range of demographics and across the community.

"Every club may be impacted, whether that's directly or indirectly, they can play a really positive role in being able to help their club members out.”

Britton agreed the issue went beyond the sporting clubs.

"I think in the whole community there's issues out there and a lot the times they're unidentified.

"I'm sure there's a percentage of issues in our volunteer bases and also our kids playing sports because some of them are young adults as well.”

Both men hoped the forum would lead to a positive impact in tackling drug issues.

Good Sport Forum

When: September 25, noon - 2.30pm

Where: Stanthorpe Civic Centre, Lock St, Stanthorpe

Cost: Free

Register: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/tackling-illegal-drugs-the-forum-stanthorpe-tickets-48827442194 or email GoodsportsQLD@adf.org.au

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