By Renee Bogatko
The Canberra Cavalry baseball club’s been accused of failing in its duty of care, after footage emerged of an underage player sculling alcohol from a beer bong.
The incident’s believed to have happened after their home loss to Brisbane in January.
It’s prompted the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education to express concerns about the poor drinking culture at the club and in sport generally.
“Things need to change. Not just around this particular incident, this is extremely poor and dangerous behaviour, but also the way alcohol is used at the club and in the sport,” FARE Chief Executive, Michael Thorn, said.
Mr Thorn said it raises all sorts of other issues as well.
“I think parents would be very concerned that their children who they think are in a supervised environment are getting up to these sorts of things. It goes back to the culture within these clubs where these sorts of drinking practices are permitted,” he said.
“I understand that this alcohol was provided by a sponsor free of charge. Frankly it shouldn’t be made available to kids under 18. The management of the club has really let the Canberra community down in a big way.”
FARE has since been contacted by Baseball Australia who are keen to meet and discuss the incident.
Meanwhile, the club’s CEO Donn McMichael said while he is concerned, he doesn’t believe they’ve failed in their duty of care.
“The ABL has strict policies in place regarding behaviour, drugs and alcohol and are included in the contracts that the players sign prior to setting foot on the diamond to play,” he said.
“The incident occurred 2 hours after the game had concluded and there were no fans or members of the public present. This however, does not excuse it happening or lessen the responsibility of senior players observing a minor drinking alcohol.”
Mr McMichael confirmed he’s reminded players that the club doesn’t condone minors drinking alcohol and any further breaches of the code of conduct would lead to fines or suspension.
From now on, the club will also have a management staff member present post games until all the players have left.
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