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RESPONSIBLE ALCOHOL INITIATIVES Matti Clements AFLPA.

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Presentation on theme: "RESPONSIBLE ALCOHOL INITIATIVES Matti Clements AFLPA."— Presentation transcript:

1 RESPONSIBLE ALCOHOL INITIATIVES Matti Clements AFLPA

2 Misuse of Alcohol is not isolated to the AFL community In Victoria alone: 8,000 emergency department presentations 4,700 ambulance attendances in metropolitan Melbourne 64% of year olds and 32% of year olds binge drinking (as defined by NHMRC guidelines) 13,000 seeking treatment for alcohol problems 2,000 assaults involving young people affected by alcohol 16,500 drivers convicted of drink and/or drug offences 15,000 people apprehended for public drunkenness Over 1,500 assaults in licensed premises 37% parents with children entering foster care with alcohol abuse problems (source: National Alcohol strategy , Federal Government Alcohol Website,

3 WHY DID ALCOHOL BECOME A TOPIC OF INTEREST IN FOOTBALL? Footy players get on the piss. Always have, always will. Nobody elses business and they can handle it, theyre big boys. (anon) By 2006 it had become apparent that the long held relationship between sport and alcohol was spilling over into episodic risky drinking and a range of subsequent harms in AFL football.

4 Alcohol misuse can result in significant WELLBEING consequences for AFL Players

5 1.Health and welfare of AFL players Short term risk (fights, driving offences, relationship problems, impact on performance) Long term risk (mental health problems, addiction, physical disease) Link with illicit drug use

6 2. Opportunity to take the lead on a key social issue Misconduct detracts from positive club and player initiatives Society looks to AFL for leadership Medical experts and health promotion organizations willing to support efforts

7 3. Damage to image and reputation of AFL competition Negative media coverage Players as role models is a key driver of attendance at games (source: Forethoughts AFL brand tracking, May 2009) Impact on a range of fundamental business outcomes

8 So what do we know about Player drinking? Deitze & Fitzgerald Research, 2006

9 AFL Players Levels of Consumption Across the playing year AFL players binge drink on a monthly basis (51%) to a higher extent than men in the general population (44%) Most players drink at low long-term risk levels during preseason and home and away periods (89% and 90% respectively) AFL players binge drink less on a weekly basis during preseason and home and away periods than men in the general population 26% of AFL players drink at levels that place them at high risk of long term harm during the vacation period. In comparison, the most recent National Drug Strategy Household Survey reported that only around 6% of Australian males (aged years) drink at levels that place them at high risk of long term harm

10 Factors that increase drinking A high proportion of players (53%) have received free drink cards in the past 12 months Drink cards increase risky drinking. Players receiving drink cards are 1.68 time more likely to binge drink on a monthly basis A big win

11 Factors that increase drinking Those who reported usually drinking in public during the home and away season were 1.55 times as likely to report monthly binge drinking than those who reported usually drinking in private locations Being a member of a club where there is hazardous drinking. In one club, players were 3.3 times more likely to drink in a hazardous fashion compared to other clubs

12 Factors that reduce drinking Players who had interests outside football were less likely to report hazardous drinking Players who were married were some 2.5 times less likely to report risky drinking than those who were single Being a member of a club where there is safe drinking. In one club, players were 3.8 times less likely to drink in a hazardous fashion compared to other clubs

13 Outcomes of hazardous alcohol consumption 26% of players reported that they had gotten in a fight (physical or verbal disagreement) while drinking on at least one occasion during the past 12 months Those players who had fights related to alcohol consumption were 1.75 time more likely to be drinking at high long-term risk levels The risk of players using drugs is increased when alcohol consumption is involved. Alcohol consumption was a trigger in 24 out of 25 positive cases under the IDP

14 Outcomes of hazardous alcohol consumption The pattern of binge drinking established for players while playing AFL could stay with them long after they leave AFL football. This pattern of binge drinking is unsustainable in the absence of protective club resources Feedback from club representatives suggests the majority of incidents involving misconduct which they deal with as a club relates to alcohol consumption

15 Outcomes of hazardous alcohol consumption 31% of players reported that their drinking had a harmful effect on their physical health 31% of players reported that their drinking had a harmful effect on their finances 19 % of players reported that their drinking had had a harmful effect on their marriage/intimate relationships at least once during the last 12 months

16 Drinking behaviour Players have a limited repertoire of strategies to limit drinking compared to Australian males in the general population AFL players are more likely to drink in public than men in the general population. Australian males are more likely to drink at home (76%) and at a friend's house (67%) Players reported that they drank to unwind or to celebrate

17 Player attitudes Players were more likely to listen to the player leadership group about setting drinking expectations than other parts of the AFL On-field performance is a dominant concern of players in limiting their drinking during pre-season and home and away. However, at the end of season and vacation periods a substantial proportion of players believe that there are no limits (35% and 25% respectively) to their drinking 81% of players think [incorrectly] that AFL players drink less than men of the same age

18 Research recommendations In 2009, all 16 clubs have policies in place and are committed to a range of activities aimed at promoting responsible alcohol consumption within their club

19 Summary – Why have a policy? Health and welfare of AFL players – Short term risk (fights, driving offences, relationship problems) – Long term risk (mental health problems, addiction, cancer) – Link with Illicit Drugs – New information about consequences of binge drinking on developing brains Damage to image and reputation of AFL competition – Impact on fundamental business outcomes – Appeal to strong and growing family and female supporter base – Having players as suitable role models remains a key driver of attendance Opportunity to take lead on key social issue – Alcohol significant problem in community – Misconduct detracts from positive club and player initiatives – Society looks to AFL for leadership Cost of alcohol-related issues management (AFL, AFLPA and Clubs) (Source: Forethought AFL Brand Tracking, May 2009)

20 Club Responsible Alcohol Dashboard The AFLPA has developed and implemented a performance dashboard tool for clubs to use in measuring their progress. Dashboards are used as an alternative to hurdle requirements and compliance checklists. They provide a dynamic snapshot of an organisations performance across a range of indicators.

21 Development of player education resources In the past 3 years the AFLPA has delivered targeted drinking and decision making workshops to all AFL players just prior to the players entering their vacation period which is identified as a high risk period for risky consumption of alcohol. opportunities for planning and discussion (known as The August Sessions) that are facilitated by players and club staff, and shepherded by the AFLPA player education specialists all new inductees to AFL undertake specific alcohol awareness training during both the AFLPA induction camp

22 Well-being Program Commencing 2011, all new players will partake in a Well- being program Develop strategies to manage stress, develop coping skills, etc Discussion-based learning, facilitated AFLPA player education specialists

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