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New Lambton FC… a club of Good Sports

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New Lambton FC is in celebration mode after reaping the spoils at the annual Good Sports Awards at Parliament House in Canberra.

The local football organisation finished runners-up for the 2023 NSW Good Sports Club of the Year while Megan Payne walked away with the 2023 NSW Good Sports Volunteer of the Year award.

The event, which took place on Wednesday 28 February, acknowledges Australia’s best community sporting clubs and assistants for their commitment to building healthy and inclusive environments, and their work with the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s Good Sports program in tackling topics like alcohol, illicit drugs, smoking, mental health and safe transport.

Megan Payne was named the 2023 NSW Good Sports Volunteer of the Year.

The highlight was Payne’s accolade for her unwavering dedication to strengthening her club and the broader community.

“Megan has contributed her time and expertise in various roles within the organisation,” New Lambton FC vice-president David Thomas said.

“She’s coached, played and volunteered, often all at the same time.

“In her current role, she handles everything from scheduling to finances, to mentoring and everything in between.

“Her work has streamlined the club and allowed it to grow significantly.

“Megan’s service to New Lambton FC also includes organising large-scale fundraising and social events that have generated substantial funds for our development.

“Her impact on the club, its members and the community are immeasurable and has made her a shining example of what makes our club proud.”

Thomas said the Good Sports program had been instrumental in preventing alcohol and drug-related harms within the club, fostering a culture of responsibility, and providing education and support.

“Joining the initiative has increased our awareness of alcohol and drug-related issues and has facilitated discussions and workshops on responsible drinking and problematic substance use, ensuring both players and supporters are well-informed,” he explained.

“Good Sports has supported our club to introduce policies around alcohol availability and the promotion of healthier choices.

“For example, we do not allow sponsorship of our youth teams by alcohol-related businesses, and we don’t serve alcohol at our game-day canteen.

“Good Sports has helped reduce alcohol and drug-related incidents at our club and has assisted those seeking help towards resources and treatment options.”

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s NSW Manager, Greg Howe, said New Lambton FC should be incredibly proud of its achievements.

“The Good Sports Awards are the ultimate trophy for any Good Sports club,” he stated.

“Every year we get to celebrate incredible work being done by dedicated volunteers in community sport and this year is no different.

“These award recipients are shining examples of the Good Sports program, which is helping build a healthier sporting nation by supporting clubs to be the very best they can be.”

Working with almost 12,000 community sports clubs, including more than 3,260 in NSW, Good Sports is Australia’s largest community health sports initiative.

In NSW, it’s a partner of the NSW Government through Transport for NSW.

The Good Sports program is funded under the Community Road Safety Fund and managed by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation.

Over the past 25 years, it’s been proven to reduce risky drinking at participating clubs by 37% and has seen a 42% reduction of alcohol-related accidents among Good Sports club members and supporters.

It also increases club members’ confidence to deal with mental health or illicit drug issues.

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