Gippsland football and netball clubs are tackling one of regional communities’ biggest issues head on with Gippsland Footy’s Fight Against Ice project.
Seventeen clubs will host forums involving project partners AFL Gippsland, Victoria Police, GippSport and Australian Community Support Organisation over the next few months.
Gippsland Footy’s Fight Against Ice is supported by the Victorian Government as part of the Ice Action Plan and was launched at Traralgon Football Netball Club last Thursday, with former Collingwood AFL footballer and project ambassador Gavin Crosisca appearing as guest speaker.
The 1990 premiership player has battled a drug addiction for 28 years and is now a qualified intervention professional at Alcohol and Drug Help and director at Sober Living Housing Addiction Recovery program.
AFL Gippsland region general manager Travis Switzer praised the positive response of Gippsland clubs to the project.
“It’s great to see so many clubs getting on the front foot with this issue,” Switzer said.
“We wanted to work with at least a dozen clubs and were prepared to tap a few on the shoulder, but we had 11 clubs submit expressions of interest within the first week and that has since grown to 17, which has been extremely encouraging.”
GippSport executive officer Barry Switzer said the sessions were not just aimed at providing information on the dangers of Ice, but engaging in practical methods of tackling the issue.
“One outcome from club participation in this program will be the development and adoption of an Illicit Drugs Club Policy which is clearly understood by all members,” Switzer said.
“This will greatly assist clubs as they manage the potentially difficult issues they may encounter in the future.”
Following Thursday’s launch and initial session with Traralgon Football Netball Club, forums will take place at the following clubs:
Sale City Football Netball Club
Nar Nar Football Netball Club
Koo Wee Rup Football Netball Club
TTU Football Netball Club
Stony Creek Football Netball Club
Fish Creek Football Netball Club
Leongatha Football Netball Club
Glengarry Football Netball Club
Gormandale Football Netball Club
Hill End Football Netball Club
Bunyip Football Netball Club
Kilcunda-Bass Football Netball Club
Boolarra Football Netball Club
Mirboo North Football Netball Club
Phillip Island Football Netball Club
Dates for these sessions will be confirmed in the next few weeks.