Former star basketballer leads Pirie clubs in fight against drugs in sport

CAMPAIGN: Mark Nash, right, with hockey's Leith Gulin, left, the SANFL's Sean Toohey, Blue Wren netball's Wendy Farrugia and Liberal candidate Kendall Jackson.

CAMPAIGN: Mark Nash, right, with hockey's Leith Gulin, left, the SANFL's Sean Toohey, Blue Wren netball's Wendy Farrugia and Liberal candidate Kendall Jackson.

Our talented sportspeople will be encouraged to stare down illegal drug use.

This comes after a campaign was launched in Port Pirie by the Drug and Alcohol Foundation to develop anti-drug policies in clubs.

About 25 club representatives attended a meeting – titled Tackling Illegal Drugs – at the Lions Football Club.

The event, sponsored by the Lions and the Spencer Gulf League, was conducted by former Adelaide 36ers basketball star Mark Nash.

Guests included Liberal candidate for Frome Kendall Jackson who was representing Grey MP Rowan Ramsey.

The event was organised under the Good Sports program of the Federal Government.

Mr Nash took the audience through scenarios of drug use involving “players” and asked administrators to outline their responses to the situations.

He stressed the importance of clubs’ developing drug policies and sanctions for breaches as well as having welfare officers. Mr Nash said the clubs aimed to prepare their policies within the next season of competition.

“This is the first step,” he said. He and his team will return to the same venue on September 5 to check on progress with the work.

“It is really a protective tool. It is sets the standard of behaviour in a club,” he said of the policy-making.

“There has been a real buy-in among community sport regarding illegal drugs policies. It can be quite emotional at times.”

He said most clubs involved in the campaign had juniors aged as young as seven or eight years old and senior members including the most at-risk group, men aged 20 to 29.

There could be up to 400 people involved in a club.

“It is about what young people see,” he said.

Steps included “getting the committee on board”.

Discussion covered use of drugs such as “ice”, ecstacy and marijuana.

Liberal candidate Kendall Jackson said: “While no sport group would like to be faced with a situation involving illegal drugs, one day it may happen and it is good to be prepared.”

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