RL clubs tackle social issues
MACKSVILLE District Rugby League Club has taken more steps to enforce its image as a responsible community member.
The Sea Eagles have begun the process of joining rival club Orara Valley in the Australian Drug Foundation’s Good Sports initiative, aimed at responsible alcohol management in their Group 2 activities.
And secretary Bill Richardson reports former NRL favourite David Peachey intends to foster an association with the highly successful team after delivering the New South Wales Government’s Tackling Violence message to the players.
“We are seen as probably the highest profile sporting club in our part of the region and it allows us to be influential for the community’s benefit,” he said.
“Particularly as Macksville have such a high indigenous presence, we can get positive messages across better than anybody else. The boys see themselves as role models who can do a lot of good.”
Peachey has already made a local impact during visits with South Sydney Rabbitohs and a one-off appearance as fullback for Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo Magpies in this season’s Sgt Matthew Locke Memorial match against Australian Army Thunder.
In his role as a Tackling Violence ambassador, the semi-retired footballer will star in the Mid North Coast campaign in 2010, providing domestic violence education, leadership and mentoring to players and communities.
“I’ve now made two visits to Macksville for the program and I’m impressed by the attitudes of the Sea Eagles,” he said.
“As a condition of sponsorship they’ll undergo domestic violence education and they’ve all signed the code of conduct which penalises players for any domestic violence offences.
“The Eagles lobbied hard to part of the program, to take a stand against domestic violence and to be role models for the young men in the community and it’s a credit to the club.”
During last Saturday’s local derby at Allen Gillett Oval against Nambucca Heads Roosters, a community service announcement was produced featuring the players in an active role.
It will be broadcast on commercial radio and TV so the players will be taking the anti-violence message not just on to the field but into the wider community.
Joining Peachey as 2010 ambassadors are league legends Nathan Blacklock, Tony Butterfield and former South Sydney halfback, Joe Williams.
The ambassadors will provide domestic violence education, leadership and mentoring to players and communities.
“As ambassadors we’re all committed to giving back to the community and supporting a great program such as this,” Peachey said.
“We want to use our experiences from our playing days in this new role.”
The ambassadors have undergone domestic violence education with Tackling Violence educator Dixie Link-Gordon and will work with players, club officials and communities to increase knowledge and awareness of the effects and impacts of domestic violence on women, children and families.