Get Prepared

Clubs can provide an important place for building knowledge and skills, fitness and physical activity, cultural or artistic expression as well as social connection. Clubs often provide essential facilities and activities for children and young people so it is important to ensure these environments are safe and supportive of good health and well-being.

However, alcohol consumption can sometimes undermine these benefits and threaten the viability of the club. For example, problems can arise if one or more of the members are bringing their problematic drinking into the club environment, spectators are drinking prior to and/or during the game, or after-match functions or club events involve heavy drinking.

Here''s what you need to know before taking action.

Some clubs have a club licence to sell alcohol. If they do have a licence, they need to comply with the law.  This means that they can ONLY supply alcohol to:

  • member of the club concerned; or
  • a person who is on the premises at the invitation of, and is accompanied by, a member of the club concerned; or
  • an authorised visitor (means a member of some other club with which the club concerned has an arrangement for reciprocal visiting rights for members)

If you believe there are issues relating to their licence you can discuss this with a licensing inspector at your local council, or with your local police.

You can find out more about club licences here.

The Health Promotion Agency have developed some useful resources for sports clubs. Click the buttons below to learn more:


Comprehensive programmes can be implemented within clubs to reduce alcohol-related harm and exposure of alcohol to young people.

Many clubs in Australia take part in the Good Sports Program – a three-level accreditation system which shows progress towards implementing comprehensive strategies which reduce alcohol-related harm. For example –

  • level 1 accreditation may mean that the club meets its requirement for its liquor licence,
  • level 2 may mean that alcohol being sold at the club can only be consumed at the club; and
  • level 3 interventions may include that the such as club has some sponsorship that is not from alcohol.

High quality research has shown that the programme is effective in reducing the proportion of club members who report risky alcohol consumption at the club as well as in reducing alcohol-related harm [47]. Even if club members continued to drink outside the clubrooms, they were found to be less likely to drink to a risky level in other settings.

Best practice

In 2014, a Ministerial Forum was tasked to review alcohol sponsorship in New Zealand. They recommended the following in their report:

  • Ban alcohol sponsorship of all streamed and broadcast sports.
  • Ban on alcohol sponsorship of sport (long-term).
  • Ban alcohol sponsorship (naming rights) at all venues.
  • Ban alcohol sponsorship of cultural and music events where 10% or more of participants and audiences younger than 18.
  • Introduce a sponsorship replacement funding programme.
  • Introduce a targeted programme to reduce reliance on alcohol sponsorship funding.

Read more about the harm from sponsorship in the Advertising and Sponsorship section.

Many other countries are equally concerned about alcohol sponsorship of sporting events and clubs. In  France, no sponsorship is permitted of sporting teams or events.

The situation in New Zealand

New Zealand's ASA Code for Alcohol Advertising has the following 'rules' for alcohol sponsorship:

Principle 4 – Sponsorship advertisements shall clearly and primarily promote the sponsored activity, team or individual. The sponsor, the sponsorship and items incidental to them, may be featured only in a subordinate manner.

Guidelines for sponsorship:

  • Alcohol producers, distributors or retailers should not engage in sponsorship where those under 18 years of age are likely to comprise more than 25% of the participants, or spectators.
  • Sponsors shall not require or permit sponsored parties to feature alcohol branding on children’s size replica sports kit or on any promotional material distributed to minors.

Guidelines for sponsorship advertisements

  • Shall not contain a sales message.
  • Shall not show a product or product packaging.
  • Shall not imitate or use any parts of product advertisements from any media.
  • Shall not portray consumption of alcohol
  • Shall only briefly and in a subordinate way mention or portray the sponsor’s name and/or brand name and/or logo orally and/or visually.
  • May be broadcast at any time except during programmes intended particularly for minors.