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Culture Change Brings Change To Sports Awards

Culture Change Brings Change To Sports Awards

The Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand (ALAC) today announced that it will conclude its sponsorship of the Say When Halberg Awards after the next awards ceremony in February 2006.

”We’ve had ten great years of association with the Halberg Trust and the awards,” Chief Executive Officer of ALAC, Dr Mike MacAvoy, said today. “The association between the promotion of moderation in alcohol consumption and elite sport is a good fit and it has worked very well for us, so this was not an easy decision. ALAC is now moving to change the culture of drunkenness or ‘binge drinking’ behaviour across New Zealand, and our programmes and promotions are changing accordingly.

“ALAC will retain a focus on sport and alcohol as part the programme to change New Zealand’s drinking culture. To achieve this, we are talking to the Halberg Trust about other ways we can work with them. Elite sports people, who need to be fit, and so manage their alcohol intake accordingly, are potentially excellent people to champion our messages,” Dr MacAvoy said.

“Our focus in sport will be on the clubs, codes, coaches and other influencers of the drinking culture that exists within New Zealand sport. Much of the drinking behaviour of young New Zealanders is learnt at sports clubs or in association with sporting events and we need to continue to impact on drinking in sporting environments in a range of ways and places. We’ve made some excellent contacts through our sponsorship of the Awards and will build on these in the future.”

Dame Susan Devoy, Chair of the Halberg Trust, said the Trust had enjoyed its relationship with ALAC.

”A long association is coming to a close but we understand the need for ALAC to put their resources into their new programme to help change the way New Zealanders drink. The Trust has always been very supportive of the ALAC goals and we wish them the very best.”

ENDS

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