Saturday, June 15, 2024

‘Always respect, always DrinkWise’ campaign launched ahead of the start of the 2024 Ampol State of Origin series

Ahead of the 2024 Ampol State of Origin series, DrinkWise is collaborating with the NSW Government, the NSW Police Force, the National Rugby League (NRL), 1800RESPECT, Men’s Referral Service and 13YARN to remind fans and the wider community about the importance of moderating their alcohol consumption and always being respectful towards others during the upcoming series.

NSW Blues star James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters fullback) says he has seen a significant change in fan behaviour over the past few years.

“NRL State of Origin is an event that all players and sports fans across the country get ramped up for every year. As we strive to win the coveted shield, we want to remind all NRL fans to be respectful to one another. If drinking, keep an eye on your alcohol consumption. Drinking to excess can not only ruin your own experience watching the match, but it can ruin it for those around you too.”

DrinkWise research revealed more than four in five (86%) of NRL adult fans believe that having a drink or two at a sporting event is an Australian tradition, however, 95% agree it’s important that people drink responsibly.

DrinkWise Chief Executive Officer Simon Strahan says: “Behaviour at events is improving but reminders are always helpful. In the lead up to the men’s State of Origin series and in the midst of the women’s series, DrinkWise has partnered with the New South Wales Government, the New South Wales Police Force, the NRL, Flemington Liquor Accord venues, 1800RESPECT, Men’s Referral Service and 13YARN to promote moderation and respect because we want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time.”

“The campaign highlights the importance of fans behaving appropriately and looking after each other, whether watching the game at home, at the pub or at licensed venues. We want to remind all fans to enjoy the great State of Origin moments on offer and encourage them to reach out to support services if they need help or advice about their behaviour or consumption.”

NSW Minister for Women Jodie Harrison says: “The NSW Government is pleased to be partnering with DrinkWise on the Always respect, always DrinkWise message to continue educating NRL fans about drinking responsibly and reinforcing expectations about behaviour. It’s important to take a collaborative approach to health and safety and this initiative demonstrates how the government, NSW Police and the community can work together to create a healthier, safer drinking culture.”

NSW Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism Yasmin Catley says: “It’s great to see the NRL State of Origin back for another year in Sydney. With Game 1 of the men’s series about to kick off, we want to ensure sports fans are mindful of their drinking habits at Accor Stadium or wherever they are watching the match. DrinkWise’s Always respect, always DrinkWise campaign is a crucial reminder to enjoy the game but be mindful of those around you.”

NRL Chief Executive Officer Andrew Abdo says: “The NRL is proud to partner with DrinkWise to promote the Always respect, always DrinkWise campaign. State of Origin is one of the biggest events of the sporting year and we want to ensure fans celebrate the great moments of the games in a fun and responsible manner.”

NSW Police Force Assistant Commissioner Brett McFadden says: “At this year’s State of Origin Game 1 match, we will ensure safety remains the top priority. Violence in any form is unacceptable. Every year, fan behaviour has been improving and we are confident this will be evident at this year’s match in Sydney.

“If you’re planning to drink and attend the game, leave your keys at home and seek alternative transport arrangements. We will be vigilant in protecting the safety of all patrons, so if you see anything concerning, please contact a member of the police.”

‘Always respect, always DrinkWise’ messaging will be displayed around the stadium precinct and across retail outlets in New South Wales. Flemington Liquor Accord, Coles Liquor, Endeavour Group and Retail Drinks Australia member venues will also display messaging at licensed pubs, bottle shops and venues in and around the Accor Stadium precincts.

As part of this year’s awareness campaign, NRL legends Lindsay Collins, Tamika Upton, James Tedesco and Kezie Apps have recorded messages to reach fans during the series. The videos will be available on the DrinkWise website and promoted via social media.

If you or someone you know needs assistance managing their alcohol consumption, visit DrinkWise.org.au for a range of support services.

  • If you are concerned about your behaviour or use of violence, you can contact the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491 or visit www.ntv.org.au.
  • If you or someone you know is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic, family or sexual violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, text 0458 737 732 or visit 1800respect.org.au for online chat and video call services.
  • If you or someone you know is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and are feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty coping, call 13YARN on 13 92 76 or visit 13yarn.org.au.

To find out more about the ‘Always respect, always DrinkWise’ campaign or the work DrinkWise is doing as part of efforts to create a safer and healthier drinking culture in Australia, visit drinkwise.org.au.

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