Melbourne Victory FC is one of the key supporters and participants in the seventh annual Responsible Gambling Awareness Week (RGAW) which begins on Monday May 14 2012.
Melbourne Victory’s captain Adrian Leijer is one of the Ambassadors of the Week which seeks to promote the responsible gambling message throughout Victoria.
RGAW is part of an integrated response to problem gambling that is framed within a public health approach. It complements programs that focus on at-risk groups and help services for problem gamblers and their families.
As a means of prevention and early intervention, young people are a particular focus of this year’s RGAW. Current international and Australian research shows higher prevalence rates for at-risk gambling amongst young people, and an increase in the popularity of poker, sports betting and online gambling amongst this demographic.
An important feature of the week will be a youth forum held in Melbourne for Year 11 and 12 students from across Victoria. Adrian will attend the forum along with the Minister for Gaming The Hon Michael O’Brien and speak and speak to the students.
The students will focus on the issues and risks associated with gambling, and provide a voice for young people on this social issue, as well as help inform future community education initiatives.
The initiative builds on the existing Consumer Education in Schools Program that aims to develop the coping mechanisms and life skills of young people. Early education also aims to enable young people to understand when gambling becomes a problem and the effect that gambling can have on the individual, friends, family and the community.
Among the other ambassadors are Geelong Football Club star Harry Taylor, Indigenous representative Chantelle McGuinness, 2012 Youth Governor of Victoria, Veronika Drago and 2010 Young Victorian of the Year, Wesa Chau. Together they will promote the key themes of the week: Knowledge, Balance and Control.
Community events will be held across the state during RGAW by local governments in Wodonga, Yarra, Moreland, Ballarat, Cardinia and the Bass Coast, along with other major events, including the promotion of the Week during the match between Geelong and Collingwood at the MCG on 18 May 2012; a RGAW round held in regional Victoria in partnership with the Victorian Country Football League; and promotion of responsible gambling during metropolitan and country race meetings including thoroughbreds, harness and greyhounds.