Bulldogs president calls on sports clubs to be forces for good

Siobhan Calafiore

CREATING CHANGE: Western Bulldogs president Peter Gordon when he arrived in Ballarat with the premiership cup in 2016. Picture: KATE HEALY

PETER Gordon is urging all sports clubs to be forces for good and take the lead when it comes to the treatment of women.

The Western Bulldogs president is the keynote speaker at a Leading Change Presidents’ Dinner for sports clubs and organisations across the Grampians region.

The Women’s Health Grampians initiative, with partner organisations Ballarat Community Health and Sports Central, is aimed at promoting gender equality and preventing violence against women.

Women’s Health Grampians oversees 11 local government areas, encompassing the Wimmera.

“Clubs can be a force for good,” Mr Gordon said.

“Just as I think it is true some clubs, cultures and the industry itself has sometimes not been a force for good in the lack of respect and the lack of responsibility they have taken in this area.”

He said change had to come from all sporting codes – at both national and grassroots levels.

“It is important for people who are in positions of leadership in those clubs – like the president, the coach, the captain and the leading players – to come out and speak about these issues,” Mr Gordon said.

“And when episodes of violence occur, be it language or behaviour, that they are addressed publicly and it is seen that there is not a tolerance for it.”

Mr Gordon said the Western Bulldogs looked at taking action as both a responsibility and a way of making a meaningful difference.

The club has introduced men’s and women’s health programs for the public, Sons of the West and Daughters of the West.​

Mr Gordon said both programs contained education around family violence, with the men’s program focused on respect and responsibility and the women’s program on rights and communication such as reporting violence.

The Presidents’ Dinner is on Monday, November 27 at Sovereign Hill in Ballarat; for more information visit whg.org.au

This story Bulldogs president calls on sports clubs to be forces for good first appeared on The Wimmera Mail-Times.