DrinkWise and Bowls Australia launch campaign

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Photo: Jamila Toderas

A new campaign to encourage moderation when drinking will be rolled out to every bowls club in Australia under a partnership between social change organisation DrinkWise and Bowls Australia.

The campaign – ‘Lighter Choice. Better Bowls.’ – launched this weekend at the Everton Park Bowls and Community Club in Brisbane by Minister for Sport and Aged Care the Hon. Anika Wells MP.

Lighter choice. Better bowls. encourages lawn bowlers across Australia to swap full strength alcohol for zero, low and mid strength options as a means to help reduce their alcohol consumption, to ensure they can look after their health and perform to their peak on the greens.

The campaign will see the introduction of zero, low and mid strength alcohol options at Australian bowls clubs, supported by fun and informative posters, bar mats and coasters at the 1,846 bowls clubs across Australia, promoting positive drinking messages to the game’s 700,000 participants nationwide and the many hundreds of thousands that visit bowls clubs throughout the year.

Recent DrinkWise research found half of Australian drinkers were looking to cut back on their alcohol consumption, highlighting the potential to tap into zero and low-alcohol alternatives, particularly for those drinking at risky levels.

Almost three quarters (70%) of Australian drinkers aged 55+ believe there is an opportunity for consumers to take greater responsibility and control of their drinking habits through the availability of lower and zero strength alcohol products.

Minister Wells said: “This is a great way to highlight the importance of healthy choices. The message of the campaign is to encourage players and all Australians to look at their consumption and how to incorporate lower alcohol alternatives for health benefits.”

“I think we see the unity and the connection that sports, like bowls, bring. Initiatives like Lighter choice. Better bowls. promote stronger communities and encourage Australia’s almost 700,000 bowls participants to look at their consumption.

“As Aged Care Minister I am often speaking to older Australians who yearn to be part of communities and sports like bowls help foster friendships.”

DrinkWise CEO Simon Strahan said this new campaign with Bowls Australia provides an important springboard to continue to promote behavioural change. It’s an opportunity to remind all Australians that to reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury, healthy men and women should drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week and no more than four standard drinks on any one day.

“This DrinkWise and Bowls Australia campaign will assist us to continue to educate Australians about making healthier and safer choices if choosing to drink alcohol as they socialise and compete, as well as highlight the benefits to their health and to their bowls game.” Strahan said.

“Our aim is to remind bowlers of all levels and those who frequent bowls clubs for social gatherings to make informed choices if drinking and consider zero, low and mid strength alternatives as a way to cut back on their alcohol consumption.”

Bowls Australia President Bob Boorman is enthusiastic about this important, as well as fun, new campaign with DrinkWise.

“We know that catching up in the clubhouse following a game of bowls is an important weekly routine for around three quarters of a million Australians who play at their local bowls clubs and we want to increase both the availability and awareness of the mid, low and zero alcohol alternatives now available to players, members and guests.”

“Bowls Clubs are also integral to our local communities and we want to ensure that as players, members and guests come together to socialise, have a meal, catch up with friends and family, and play bowls, they are making safe and responsible choices and having a great experience.

Our clubs will also work to stock and promote a range of mid, low and zero alcohol beverage options.

The DrinkWise moderation resources will help to explain the why behind them in a fun and informative way to educate bowls participants and supporters across our 1,846 clubs around the country,” Boorman said.

This new education campaign with Bowls Australia continues DrinkWise’s behaviour change collaborations that emphasise the importance of safe and responsible consumption for players and bowls club visitors.

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