Culture change at the Bulldogs

Golden Square vs Eaglehawk

Picutre: LIZ FLEMING
180514

Golden Square vs Eaglehawk Picutre: LIZ FLEMING 180514

Golden Square in action against Strathfieldsaye this year.

Golden Square in action against Strathfieldsaye this year.

Survey shows shift in supporter behaviour

THE GOLDEN Square Football-Netball Club’s attitude to alcohol consumption and healthy eating has changed.

A survey conducted by La Trobe University of 546 people has showed the club's culture towards drinking had shifted. 

Over the past three years the club has been involved with the Healthy Footy Club Trial, run by AFL Victoria.

One of the biggest changes at the club was the introduction of mid-strength beer during games.

The survey showed 71 per cent of people thought the move to mid-strength beer was a good idea.

The report also stated 68 per cent of supporters at Golden Square matches thought it would be a good idea if the club's mid-strength policy was extended to every ground throughout the Bendigo Football-Netball League.

Golden Square Football-Netball Club Jy Pertzel said everyone at the club had embraced the change.

He said the trial had been a success. 

“The club has really supported this initiative,” Pertzel said.

"Three years ago AFL Victoria approached us about the Healthy Eating Trial and about alcohol practices, the canteen and other policies we could put in place."

In 2012 the survey asked spectators who normally drank full-strength beer to nominate their first choice alternative if a full bar was not available - 45 per cent nominated full-strength mixed drinks and 39 per cent said mid-strength beer.

Last year, those who nominated mid-strength beer rose to 59 per cent, while those who nominated full-strength spirits dropped to 19 per cent.

Pertzel said the strategies implemented, which included providing healthier food option for supporters, had changed the habits of some supporters.

"The club has become a more family-friendly place,” Pertzel said.

He said alcohol had not disappeared from the Golden Square Football-Netball Club, but its attitude towards drinking had changed.

The report indicated responsible alcohol management had now clearly been aligned with the football-netball club’s values.

The Bulldogs have also taken a no tolerance approach to underage drinking and has limited the number of drinks people can have at their 'all you can drink' events.

The survey said the football-netball club had showed strong leadership on responsible drinking and healthy eating. 

"The club provides people with healthier options for people," Pertzel said. 

"For example, people can have fruit juices instead of soft drinks."

The Golden Square Football-Netball Club was the only club involved in the research project.

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