Football in Western Australia will help deliver vital road safety messages and increase awareness of the importance of wearing a seatbelt, as part of a new ‘Belt Up’ sponsorship campaign.
Community Safety Minister John Kobelke today announced a new sponsorship deal between the State Government and the West Australian Football Commission (WAFC) for the 2008 season.
The ‘Belt Up’ Sports sponsorship is for one year, with two 12-month extension options, worth about $500,000 annually, subject to annual evaluation reports. The sponsorship is funded by the Insurance Commission of WA.
“Country football clubs are an integral part of regional and rural communities, with the main player group the primary target audience for the restraints message,” Mr Kobelke said.
“Research indicates that males aged between 17 and 39 who live and drive in regional WA are more likely than other members of the community not to wear a seatbelt.”
In 2007, 58 people killed in WA road crashes were not wearing seatbelts and of these, approximately 74 per cent were killed in regional WA.
The Minister said the statistics highlighted the importance of the ‘Belt Up’ Sports Sponsorship between the State Government and the WAFC, in association with the West Australian Country Football League (WACFL).
The WACFL represents competitions from Albany in the south, the Kimberley in the north and Kalgoorlie in the east. This includes 149 senior clubs, 286 senior teams and 506 junior teams incorporating 27,000 players, 868 coaches, 1,089 umpires and 14,000 volunteers.
The sponsorship includes the ‘Belt Up’ Cup secondary school competition and a WACFL grants program to encourage additional club-based road safety initiatives.
Each regional club will appoint a ‘Road Safety Skipper’ to act as the club’s road safety ambassador, with clubs in the Kimberley and Pilbara to also utilise specific role models to target road safety messages to indigenous players.
“Serious injuries as a result of road crashes costs the WA community more than $2.8billion annually, and the extensive audience that football can potentially reach with the road safety message certainly makes this is a worthwhile investment,” Mr Kobelke said.
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