Magpies lay down law

THE successful Good Sports initiative will be extended to the Sgt Matthew Locke MG Memorial rugby league match at Bellingen Park.

The third annual charity game will be played between Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo Magpies and Australia Army Thunder on Saturday, February 26, and members of organising committee decided the joint project involving the senior and junior clubs would be an ideal vehicle to promote responsible policies with alcohol.

A meeting involving Bellingen police representative Sgt Matt French, Magpies president Josh White, chief organiser Debbie Locke and Good Sports project officer Fiona Wendt has determined to establish firm guidelines regarding the responsible service, consumption and possession of alcohol inside and outside the venue.

No alcohol is to be brought into the grounds and all members of the public who enter do so on the understanding that their vehicles and their possessions can be searched by gatekeepers and security staff.

Bellingen Magpies have attained Level 1 Good Sports certification and White said the club is determined to achieve Level 3 by meeting the necessary standards required by the program.

“Rugby league is a game for the whole family to enjoy and by working with the Good Sports initiative the Bellingen Magpies' home games can be an enjoyable, exciting and safe event for people of all ages,” he said.

“With the co-operation of Bellingen Council and the local police we hope to encourage all patrons to act in a manner that is acceptable for family events.

“The standards required will be expected from our first game against the Army and firm action will be taken against those who want to use the game as an alcoholic binge festival.”

White said the club is determined that there will be no incidents like that in which a patron was assaulted near the ground after last year's match.

Meanwhile, the NRL has appointed the two referees to control the South Sydney versus Gold Coast trial match at BCU International Stadium on February 19.

Ben Cummins and Phil Haines will be in charge of the match with VB Gold Group 2 referees soon to be appointed for touch and in-goal duties, as well as the Sevens knockout featuring teams from the local competition.

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