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Good Sports is the largest health initiative in Australian sport that encourages to tackle key health issues including smoking, alcohol, obesity and mental health. Clubs who participate in the program are accredited through three levels of the program that takes over three years to complete.

The primary goal for Good Sports is to assist sporting club committees to gradually change the way alcohol is managed in all aspects within the clubs control. It aims to help all communities and clubs to develop a safe, healthy and family friendly environment for everyone to enjoy their sport.

Russel Grimson, the NSW/ACT Operations Manager for Good Sports, explains the benefits of the program, "In some areas there are many clubs that already have an extremely good culture, and we are helping to promote those clubs," he said.

"There are some others that need a little bit of help along the way and we understand that volunteers are stretched. We'd love to be able to support helping them change their culture, in particular around smoking and alcohol."

For clubs to achieve the backing of Good Sports, they must meet certain criteria. They must attain a liquor license, be trained in the Responsible Service of Alcohol, have a safe transport policy and a smoke free environment.

"Reaching 300 Good Sports accredited Rugby League Clubs in NSW is a massive achievement and something all of our clubs should be very proud of," NSWRL Welfare & Education, Greg Nichols said.

Making rugby league a safe and family friendly sport is such an important element in ensuring that our players have fun and enjoy being in the Rugby League environment." 

NSWRL is placing the utmost importance of growing the Good Sports program across all clubs, especially the junior clubs throughout the state. The aim is to ensure that all children playing Rugby League are in a safe and friendly environment.

"As a father, I feel a lot more comfortable that my children are part of a Good Sports club," NSWRL Head of Football Barrie-Jon Mather said.

"It gives me the peace of mind knowing that they are in a safe and responsible environment. Knowing that they have the support from a young age gives me great confidence in what their lifestyle choices will be in the future." 

Any club that partakes in the Good Sports program will benefit from having more participants, spectators and sponsors as well as a greatly improved environment for children and their families.

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