Love The Game, Not The Odds – Christmas came early for the Chelsea Junior Football Club last Sunday.
Christmas has well and truly come early for the Chelsea Junior Football Club with the Seagulls handed a special gift ahead of their ‘Christmas In July’ function last Sunday.
Chelsea JFC is a proud supporter of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s (VRGF) Love The Game Round and signed the ‘Love The Game, Not The Odds’ charter – which aims to counter the normalisation of gambling and to create safe and healthy sporting clubs.
By signing the charter Chelsea went into a draw to win five tickets to the Melbourne Football Club President’s Function ahead of the game against Richmond at the MCG on Saturday, August 3.
The prize pool also included a signed Melbourne FC Sherrin football.
Chelsea JFC President Andrew McBride was a popular figure when he announced his club had won the prizes and would now auction them off to club members.
“It’s a big boost for the club and for our members and it was news that was certainly well-received when we announced it on Sunday night,” McBride said.
“We’ve got quite a few Richmond supporters who are pretty keen to get their hands on the tickets and few a hardcore Melbourne supporters who would like to get along to the game and get their hands on the footy as well.”
The message from the VRGF is simple – that betting and sport don’t have to go together.
Prolific gambling advertising can make it seem like sports betting is a normal part of sports or that you need to bet on sports to make them interesting. In fact, 75 per cent of kids aged 8–16 who watch sport think betting on matches is normal.
When something is normal, it doesn’t seem risky, which is why The Love the Game round was the ideal time to remind parents and other role models to have ‘the talk’ with the young people in their lives.
McBride said the Seagulls were proud to be at the forefront of such a strong message.
“That’s the most important thing from a club point of view, that gambling and sport don’t mix, and we take the message as a club very seriously,” he said.
“We do some work with Outside The Locker Room who focus on things like the effects of alcohol and gambling and how those challenges have an effect on the mental health of people in the community.
“We had a session earlier this week and are starting to get the players involved from a younger age.”
McBride said the club as a whole was experiencing some positive growth in 2019.
“We’re a club that doesn’t focus too much on winning, it’s more about getting the model right and letting the kids enjoy their footy and the success will build from there,” he said.
“We’ve grown in numbers this year and will have three or four teams in finals which is a big step up from last year. And girls footy is going gangbusters which is amazing for footy in general.”
For parents and role models who do want to have ‘the talk’ visit lovethegame.vic.gov.au for tips on how.