In Ballarat ahead of Sunday’s match against St Kilda, Western Bulldogs captain Easton Wood met with players from local junior club, Ballarat Football Netball League, as a member of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s Love the Game Sporting Club Program.
Hanging out with the juniors at Mars Stadium, Easton commented on the responsibility he feels as a role model for young people.
“It’s important for players, coaches and any adult with influence to help young people understand that sport and betting don’t have to go together,” he said.
“I take my responsibility seriously and am proud the Bulldogs have chosen to say no to sports betting sponsorship again this season.
“It’s also fantastic to see so many clubs at all sporting levels committed to reducing kids’ exposure to sports betting advertising.”
The Foundation has renewed partnerships with all 10 Victorian AFL clubs and more than 350 community clubs across the state to encourage Victorians to love the game, not the odds.
In addition, this year, three AFL Women’s clubs – Collingwood, Melbourne and North Melbourne – have joined the Love the Game Program, pledging their commitment to be gambling sponsor-free.
Foundation interim CEO Janet Dore said there was strong community sentiment in Victoria against sports betting advertising, which has become prolific.
“Our 2018 community attitudes survey found that 74 per cent of Victorians think adolescents are exposed to too much gambling advertising,” she said.
“Through our Love the Game program, the Foundation seeks to counter the normalisation of gambling in sport. The growing membership is creating a powerful voice to spread the word among a generation that doesn’t already know, that sports can be enjoyed without betting.
“Easton Wood provided a shining example of this when he had a kick with the kids in Ballarat and showed them what he loves about footy, including team spirit, leadership, keeping fit and having fun. Easton loves the game, not the odds.”
For more information about the Love the Game program, visit lovethegame.vic.gov.au/sportingclubs.