Ballarat and District Drug Action Partnership LDAT leading prevention through sport

Local club volunteers and committees in the regional community of Ballarat saw a need to build their capacity and skills to help shift the drinking culture in sport, as well as adequately prepare for illegal drugs issues if they were to occur within the club community.

The Local Drug Action Team’s Community Action Plan is aimed at empowering young people aged 15 to 30, who are engaged in community sport.


Led by Sports Central, the Regional Sports Assembly for the Central Highlands area, the LDAT is running the Leading From the Front program. Delivered in partnership with Ballarat Community Health, it’s a community sport health promotion initiative which aims to raise awareness of health, safety and wellbeing issues with a focus on alcohol and other drug safety.

Participating clubs become accredited in the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s Good Sports program and work through the program to create an illegal drugs management plan for the club.

Club leaders participate in AOD primary prevention training and then host an alcohol and other drugs prevention and harm minimisation presentation for members, players and parents, delivered by Ballarat Community Health.

They also receive a tailored social media campaign and access to Responsible Service of Alcohol training for club members.

The aim is to engage 10 local clubs and 50 peer leaders, eventually including even more clubs as the program grows.


The program, originally planned for 2020, is still being delivered due to delays caused by COVID-19 lockdowns in Victoria and staffing shortages. It had a strong start in 2022 and is now gearing up for a busy winter 2023 season, expanding so even more football, netball, hockey and soccer clubs can participate in the program.

Clubs hosted a Leading From the Front Round to launch their new Good Sports illegal drugs management plan and raise awareness. Young club members have begun completing Responsible Service of Alcohol training.

There are two alcohol and other drugs (AOD) primary prevention training workshops booked in. One in Ballarat and the other in Bacchus Marsh will allow club leaders to choose the more convenient option for them.

Three clubs are ready to kick off winter season with their AOD prevention and harm minimisation presentation for members, players and parents.

Leading From the Front is coming at a good time for the Ballarat sporting community. There’s been a positive impact on clubs as the program builds capacity and upskills local club volunteers.

“Sports clubs play such a vital role towards the health and wellbeing of local communities,” said Leading Senior Constable Des Hudson, Youth Resource of Ballarat Police Proactive Policing Unit.

LDAT partner organisations are Sports Central, Ballarat Community Health, Victoria Police, AFL Goldfields (Ballarat Football Netball League), Basketball Ballarat, Ballarat Cricket Association.

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