The Transport Accident Commission will give thousands of football and netball clubs across Victoria an opportunity to share in $600,000 for kicking road safety goals this season.
The TAC’s Head of Road Safety Samantha Cockfield joined with AFL Victoria and members of the Rumbalara Football Netball Club in Shepparton this month to launch this year’s TAC Club Rewards Program.
The program is a key feature of the TAC’s 32-year partnership with AFL Victoria, and rewards grassroots football and netball clubs with up to $10,000 for their efforts to promote road safety in their clubs and local communities.
In its fourth year, the TAC Club Rewards Program has provided more than $2.3 million to hundreds of Victorian football and netball clubs, which has helped with a range of initiatives, including facility improvements, the purchase of new equipment, training for members and offering safe transport from club events.
Minister for Roads and Road Safety Melissa Horne said the TAC’s partnership with AFL Victoria provided an invaluable connection with thousands of communities that travel hundreds of kilometres to games and training every year.
“Victoria’s grassroots football and netball clubs have strong community connections and a culture of looking out for their teammates,” Minister Horne said.
“This partnership allows us to reward clubs that proactively promote road safety throughout the season, injecting much-needed support for club initiatives, while they help to keep our roads safe.”
Ms Cockfield said this year’s TAC Club Rewards Program would encourage clubs to start conversations about the dangers of distracted driving, and the importance of remaining focused on the road.
Driving while distracted, particularly looking at a mobile phone, is one of the leading causes of trauma on Victoria’s roads, and research shows a driver’s risk of crashing doubles when they take their eyes off the road for just two seconds.
“Too many people have died on our roads this year, and we know that distracted driving is a key and prevalent issue among young to middle-aged drivers, thousands of whom spend many hours at local sporting clubs every week,” Ms Cockfield said.
“Victoria’s football and netball clubs are often at the heart of their communities and prioritising road safety within local clubs could be the reason someone gets home safely, instead of a tragic alternative.”
Rumbalara Football Netball Club received $10,000 through last year’s program; the club provides a driver mentor program to help members gain their licence and offers road safety education to junior members.
“Our footballers can cover hundreds of kilometres on the roads every year as they travel to and from training and games, so road safety is something that we all need to be thinking about,” Head of AFL Victoria Ben Kavanagh said.
Last year, 150 clubs from across Victoria received a share of $600,000 through the program by showing initiative in promoting road safety in their clubs and communities.
The TAC’s AFL Victoria Club Rewards Program will be open for applications until August and more information is available at www.aflvic.com.au/TACClubRewards.