Carlton Football Club and the Northern Football League will partner with Banyule Community Health Gambler's Help Northern to promote responsible gambling and provide support to young footballers at risk of developing gambling problems.
Mentors and leaders from football clubs in the northern corridor will be trained by Gambler's Help Northern to promote responsible gambling, identify signs and symptoms of at-risk gambling behaviour and to encourage their peers who show signs of having problems with gambling to seek help.
Minister for Liquor and Gaming Regulation Edward O'Donohue will launch the partnership today as part of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, demonstrating the government's support for community education and gambling support services throughout Victoria.
"This partnership provides an excellent opportunity for Gambler's Help Northern to work with football clubs to foster a responsible gambling culture at a grass roots level and promote gambling support services to those in need," said Mr O'Donohue.
Managed by Banyule Community Health, Gambler's Help Northern is funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.
Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation chief executive officer Serge Sardo says the program aims to help young footballers understand the importance of taking a responsible approach to gambling and taps into the power of peer influence.
"A mentoring program for footballers around responsible gambling is an effective way to reach young men, particularly those aged 18-35 years who are increasingly at risk of developing a problem with gambling," said Mr Sardo.
Banyule Community Health chief executive officer Jim Pasinis says the program supports their strategy of working together with local organisations on important health issues facing the community.
"Banyule Community Health is proud to work with Carlton and northern football clubs to minimise the effects that gambling has on players and the wider community," said Mr Pasinis.
Supported by government, industry, community and sporting organisations, Responsible Gambling Awareness Week aims to inform the community about taking a responsible approach to gambling.
Free, confidential help is available for gamblers and their families, 24/7 through Gambler's Helpline 1800 858 858 or Gambling help online.