Fans warned to moderate alcohol ahead of AFL Gather Round

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Experts have reminded attendees of the AFL’s Gather Round to watch how much alcohol they consume.

Ahead of the wildly popular footy round, several bodies have teamed up to form a consortium advocating for smart drinking.

The groups include DrinkWise, the South Australian Government, South Australian Police, Adelaide Metro and support services 1800RESPECT, Men’s Referral Service and 13YARN.

DrinkWise chief executive Simon Strahan said Australia was drinking more moderately than ever before and it was evident within the AFL community.

“Our new research has shown that 93 per cent of AFL fans agree they typically drink responsibly at events and 94 per cent believe an event can be ruined if people drink too much,” Mr Strahan said.

“These statistics demonstrate that drinking behaviours are improving and trending in a positive direction.

“The “Always respect, always DrinkWise” campaign serves as a reminder that if you’re choosing to drink whether you’re watching the game at the ground, the pub or at home – it should be consumed responsibly.

“We don’t want to moderate the excitement around Gather Round, but we do want fans to moderate their consumption.”

The AFL Gather Round runs from April 4-7, with all teams to play in venues across the city.

South Australia Police Metropolitan Operations Service assistant commissioner Scott Duval said there would be a strong police presence during the round, from the game venues to the Adelaide CBD.

“They will be actively targeting alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour and alcohol and drug driving with a particular focus on ensuring venues and roads are safe,” Mr Duval said.

“Police encourage all AFL Gather Round attendees to drink responsibly, put their focus on being active and responsible fans and if driving not to make the poor decision to drive if they have consumed alcohol or drugs.”

North Melbourne player Aidan Corr also weighed in on the conversation and said he was supportive of the campaign’s messaging, hoping all fans could enjoy a safe and friendly environment during the round.

“While we know some fans enjoy a drink or two while watching their favourite AFL stars battle it out on the field, it’s important that they do that in moderation so that they and those around them can enjoy all the great moments of our game,” Mr Corr said.

“It can be easy to get caught up in the moment, especially when your team manages to kick a goal at the last minute, so it’s important to look after each other and be mindful of keeping an eye on how much alcohol you’re drinking.”

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