Geelong Rangers Soccer Club has won a state-wide award at Parliament House in Canberra for its commitment to a healthy and inclusive environment.
The club recently took home the Victorian Good Sports Club of the Year at the national Good Sports Awards, receiving a $500 prize.
Rangers secretary Lisa Brooks said the Good Sports program helped the club maintain a safe, all-inclusive, friendly environment where everyone could get involved.
“Geelong Rangers Soccer Club believes that everyone should have the opportunity to take part in sport.”
The Rangers reached the highest level of achievement in Good Sports for its commitment to alcohol and tobacco management and safe transport.
The club was also committed to providing a positive and supportive environment for junior players, and promoting healthy food and drinks, according to the award’s judges.
The Rangers had welcomed players from refugee backgrounds and waved full registration fees for members unable to afford the cost, the judges said.
The club was an inaugural participant in Geelong’s All Abilities League and recently introduced a new program for autistic players.
Federal Sport Minister Richard Colbeck congratulated the winners and finalists as “community champions”.
“All of the Good Sports Awards finalists should feel incredibly proud of their efforts in building strong, welcoming and healthy environments,” Mr Colbeck said.
Managed by Alcohol and Drug Foundation, Good Sports is Australia’s largest and longest-running health initiative in community sport, according to its proponents.
Federal Government and TAC fund the program in Victoria supporting 2000 clubs state-wide.
According to proponents, Good Sports reduces drinking by 37 per cent and alcohol-related accidents by 42 per cent at participating clubs.