Wyndham Netball Association shows community leadership

It’s easy to understand why young people might think sport and gambling are synonymous. Unrelenting gambling ads imply that they go hand-in-hand, which is anathema to Phil Morley, President of Wyndham Netball Association (WNA).

‘I don’t like the proliferation of pokies, gambling and gambling advertising. We're just inundated these days,’ Phil said when asked why WNA had joined the Love the Game Sporting Club Program.

Wyndham is one of the highest grossing local government areas for pokie losses. At WNA, Phil explained, they were concerned about the negative impact gambling was having on the community and eager to contribute to long-term positive change.

'We had a debate a few years ago about pokie venues within Werribee and Wyndham, as we were concerned about the amount of funds they were stripping out of the local community and the volume of losses.

‘Everyone at the board level preferred that we didn’t align ourselves with gaming venues, so we looked at other options. That’s how we found the Love the Game program.

Wyndham Netball Association

Wyndham Netball Association supporting Love the Game round

Phil said that WNA has more than 2000 members and is serious about actively role modelling behaviours that promote wellbeing to them and the broader community.

‘Love the Game is a perfect fit. The program encourages parents to talk to their kids about the risks and harms associated with sports betting and supports us to create a sporting environment free from gambling paraphernalia.

‘We don’t take on any gambling sponsorship, we don’t promote gambling in any way across the association. We do a little bit of fundraising, but we don’t do raffles, and we’re always conscious of where we host our events when we do have them,’ Phil said.

WNA’s decision has had a flow-on effect to local netball clubs, with nine out of Wyndham's 10 teams having committed to the Love the Game program.

‘I'm quite proud of those nine clubs for signing up. It really was a no-brainer for them. Everyone had the same view.’

Phil said WNA encourages other clubs and leagues to become Love the Game partners and have a positive influence on the next generation of kids involved in sport.

‘Community sport is good for your physical health, it’s good for your mental health and it’s good for your social connections. Being involved in any team-based community sport – and programs like this one – can add value to your community.’

Latest news