Taking on a new approach

THREE Gippsland cricket clubs became the first to embrace GippSport’s Healthy Sporting Environments program last week, an initiative that will revamp their approach to health and safety.

Latrobe, Glengarry and Moe cricket clubs filled the first of 50 places allocated for Gippsland and will immediately begin work on a series of modules addressing six preventable illness risk factors.

Alcohol use, nutritious canteens, sun safety, smoking, injury prevention and club mulitculturalism will be addressed over the next two years as the clubs look to create a healthier environment for their members and the community.

“Sport by its nature is about getting healthier and getting active; this is a natural progression of that,” Moe Cricket Club president Tony Flynn said.

“One of the (modules) we’re very keen on is the sunsmart policies.”

Glengarry Cricket Club treasurer Mark Bermingham said the program would provide a platform to encourage more participation at the club from parents and members.

“It’s a whole club and community thing,” he said.

“We want to make sure the club is a frontrunner and leading the way for the community and kids coming up.

“We know alcohol is a huge issue and we’re trying to address that by giving proper sporting facilities and making alcohol the emphasis.”

The Gippsport program has been funded $650,000 to deliver the program in Gippsland, which Latrobe’s Anthony Bloomfield is hoping will raise cricket’s profile in the region through his club’s involvement.

“Down the track we hope that… parents will choose to bring their kids to participate in the sport of cricket and hopefully with Latrobe,” he said.

“There’s certainly some areas like sunsmart and healthy eating we feel that we certainly can stand to benefit from.”

GippSport program coordinator Chris Stanlake said participants could expect to see success beyond the healthy environment outcomes with the accreditation provided.

“Research has shown that clubs that have been involved with the pilot of this program increased in members, volunteers and being financially rewarded when going for grants and things like that,” he said.

“Their agreement to participate will go a long way towards making them sustainable and providing a healthier environment for their members.”

Any clubs interested in joining the Healthy Sporting Environment program can phone Chris Stanlake at GippSport on 0447 358 339 or 5135 8335.