Two clubs honoured for making safety a priority

Credit - Grant Treeby. WorkSafe CEO Clare Amies and Birchip-Watchem Netball ClubCredit - Grant Treeby. Mulwala Football Netball Club

The Mulwala Football Netball Club and Birchip-Watchem Football Club are celebrating after receiving the 2015 WorkSafe Safety Initiative Award at the Netball Victoria Gala Awards on Saturday night.

Hailing from the Murray and the North Central Football Leagues respectively, both Mulwala and Birchip-Watchem were recognised for demonstrating exemplary health and safety risk management practices to protect their players and supporters.

Chief Executive of WorkSafe Victoria, Clare Amies, congratulated both clubs on their award and thanked all the finalists for making the health and safety of players and spectators a priority.

“WorkSafe is a proud supporter of football and netball in regional Victoria, and it’s great to see that our message – people going home safe at the end of the day  – is being taken to heart by so many clubs,” Ms Amies said.

“Mulwala and Birchip-Watchem can both be very proud of their achievements this year and are worthy winners of our award.”

Mulwala, which fields eight netball teams compromising more than 80 girls, embarked on a major fundraising drive to improve their courts and facilities. It now boasts a new netball complex that includes two purpose built courts, competition lighting as well as seating and shelter for players and officials.

Mulwala representative Jo-Ann McCarthy said the club’s priority was to ensure its players participated in a safe and enjoyable environment.

“There were small things we had to address, but on the grander scale now being able to provide the latest, high-quality courts for our players,” McCarthy said.

“It is fantastic to receive the award, and it’s really a fitting end to a few hard years’ work and it’s wonderful to be recognised among all the netball communities across Victoria.”

Birchip-Watchem oversaw the completion of a nine-year safety initiative and infrastructure improvement plan for the club that included major upgrades and maintenance work.

Bulls’ representative Brenda Doran acknowledged the support of the Buloke Shire Council and fundraising by club volunteers to help improve the club’s health and safety practices.

“It’s wonderful for us as a small, community club to be recognised, especially at the Gala Awards, given we are such a small club,” Doran said.

“We were working with a lot of dangerous conditions, and so the motivating factors were to provide smart and safe facilities for not only the players, but the all the members of our community.”

Other finalists for the WorkSafe Safety Initiative Award included the Meeniyan Dumbalk United Football Netball Club (Alberton Football Netball League), Laharum Football Netball Club (Horsham District Football League) and the Nagambie Football Netball Club (Kyabram Football Netball League).