ALBURY Thunder has again tasted success — this time off the field.
The rugby league club has taken out the Good Sports award in the region for the second year running — it was the NSW South Western regional winner at an Australian Drug Foundation presentation on Monday night.
The award, which rewards sporting clubs and their attitude to responsible service of alcohol, caps a great year for Thunder after its premiership win.
Thunder committee man and spokesman Mike Eden said the announcement underlined the direction the club was determined to take in promoting responsible behaviour since a grand final brawl in the crowd two years ago.
“We have really tried to promote a family atmosphere against the general perception of rugby league,” he said.
“We’ve turned it around. There’s been an increase of 300 players since 2008. We’re really growing.
“We are very proud of our exploits off and on the field.”
Eden said the club’s guidelines included serving mid-strength beer, encouraging families to attend matches and running programs to involve the community.
Good Sports regional project officer Peter Lee praised Thunder as a community-minded club that has backed up its talk with action off the field.
“The awards are all about getting into the clubs to encourage and help them to increase turnover with less reliance on alcohol,” Mr Lee said.
“Thunder went from full-strength to mid- strength beer and created a noticeable change.”
The Thunder recently won the right to field a team in the NSW Cup and has until June to meet set conditions.