New Lambton Football Club Honoured at Good Sports Awards

New Lambton Football Club and volunteer Megan Payne were celebrated at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday at the annual Good Sports Awards. 

Payne was awarded the 2023 NSW Good Sports Volunteer of the Year award and the club was announced as runners up for the 2023 NSW Good Sports Club of the Year award.

The national Good Sports Awards celebrate Australia’s best community sporting clubs and volunteers for their commitment to building healthy and inclusive club environments and their work with the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s Good Sports program. The program tackles topics including alcohol, illicit drugs, smoking, mental health and safe transport.

Good Sports is Australia’s largest community health program, working with almost 12,000 community sporting clubs including 3,260 from NSW.

New Lambton Football Club Vice President David Thomas said that the Good Sports program has been instrumental in preventing alcohol and drug-related harms within the club, fostering a culture of responsibility by providing education and support.

“Joining the Good Sports Program has increased our awareness of alcohol and drug-related issues and has facilitated discussions and workshops on responsible drinking and problematic substance use, ensuring both players and supporters are well-informed,” Thomas said.

“Good Sports has supported our club to introduce policies around alcohol availability and the promotion of healthier choices. For example, we do not allow sponsorship of our youth teams by alcohol-related businesses and we don’t serve alcohol at our game-day canteen.

“Good Sports has helped to reduced alcohol and drug-related incidents at our club and has helped those seeking help towards resources and treatment options.”

New Lambton long-time volunteer Payne was awarded the 2023 NSW Good Sports Volunteer of the Year award for her unwavering dedication to strengthening her club and her broader community.

“Maegan has contributed her time and expertise in various roles within the club. She has coached, played and volunteered, often all at the same time,” Thomas said.

“In her current role, she handles everything from scheduling to finances, to mentoring and everything in between. Her work has streamlined the club and allowed it to grow significantly.

“Megan’s service to the club also includes organising large-scale fundraising and social events that have gathered substantial funds for the club’s development.

“Her impact on the club, it’s members and the community is immeasurable and has made her a shining example of what makes our club proud.

Northern NSW Football CEO Peter Haynes was thrilled with the announcement.

“Congratulations to New Lambton Football Club and Megan Payne on being recognised for their outstanding achievements,” Haynes said.

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s NSW Manager, Greg Howe said the club should be incredibly proud of their achievements.

“The Good Sports Awards are the ultimate trophy for any Good Sports club. Every year we get to celebrate incredible work being done by dedicated volunteers in community sport and this year is no different,” Howe said.

“These award recipients are shining examples of the Good Sports program which is helping to build a healthier sporting nation by supporting clubs to be the very best they can be.”

Good Sports Program is hosting their online workshop, Kick-Off Positive Change 11 March and 12 March 2024.

Connect with the Northern NSW Football community and gain valuable insights from Good Sports on how to provide a healthy community environment through football. 

Register your club today HERE.