FOR too long, the main sports codes in Australia have relied on the massive windfalls generated from alcohol sponsorship.
In this way, sport and alcohol have become inextricably linked, causing concern among health groups.
That is why the Federal Government’s achievement in winning the backing of 12 leading sporting bodies in its campaign to help break this nexus, is significant and worthy of extension.
Sports including soccer, swimming, athletics and basketball have agreed to end alcohol sponsorship agreements, with replacement funding coming from a pool of $25 million of alcopops tax revenue.
However, while this is a positive start, much more needs to be done and invested in cutting the dependence on alcohol sponsorship – not least to convince the AFL, NRL and Cricket Australia, as the controlling bodies of three of the country’s most popular sports, to do likewise... even if it means legislating to do so.