A group of AFL Barwon sporting leaders have embraced the opportunity to meet and learn from Victoria’s most experienced professional athletes.
The young footballers and netballers participated in a Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation Inspiring Our Future Leaders event at GMHBA Stadium, which focused on creating a positive culture both on and off the field, and they were treated to a tour of the club’s inner sanctum.
Geelong player Harry Taylor was among the key speakers at the session.
“Being a good leader is not just about going in hard at the footy. It’s also about how you behave after the final siren,” Harry said.
“Having a positive influence on your teammates is crucial. A successful sports club isn’t only measured by the skill of its players, but by who they are as people.”
David Burt, Founder and CEO of Sport and Life Training (SALT), discussed the importance of leading by example and taking a stand on issues like gambling harm.
“Making it at the highest level of any sport is more than excelling at the game. It is about being a leader off the field and inspiring your teammates to follow suit,” he said.
Foundation CEO Shane Lucas said sport offered an effective way to connect with young people and to start a conversation about the issues they are likely to face as they grow up, including the risks that gambling can pose.
“The prolific promotion of sports betting coupled with 24/7 access to gambling through smart phones has led to increasing community concern,” he said.
“Young people are given the impression that gambling on sport is normal and risk-free, which is why we’re talking to up-and-coming leaders like these Barwon athletes about their role in showing others that sport is about loving the game, not the odds.”
The 24 June Future Leaders event was hosted by the Foundation, Geelong Football Club, AFL Barwon and SALT.