NEWS > Para-Equestrian
Posted by Equestrian Australia on 23/07/2013.

Australian Paralympians join the chorus to help change youth binge drinking culture

The Australian Paralympic Committee today announced that it is the latest National Sporting Organisation to join the Australian Government's Be the Influence Tackling Binge Drinking initiative.

The program addresses youth binge drinking and the influence of alcohol promotion on young Australians by promoting anti-binge drinking messaging through sport sponsorships.

Under the partnership, Be the Influence - Tackling Binge Drinking is now an official partner of the Australian Paralympic Committee and the Australian Paralympic Team.

Australia’s most successful Paralympian Matt Cowdrey will be joined by wheelchair athletes Shelley Cronau, Cameron Carr and Ryan Scott as Be the Influence ambassadors.

Shelley, Cameron and Ryan sustained their spinal injuries as a result of alcohol-related incidents and intimately understand the potentially traumatic consequences of excessive alcohol.

Matt Cowdrey believes the partnership should not be seen as just another shock campaign but changing a long-standing association between sport and binge drinking.

“I’m proud to be an ambassador for a program that’s taking a stand against the binge drinking culture in Australia – something that affects individuals and communities around the country,” Cowdrey said.

“As both an athlete and young person I know how hard it can be to deal with peer pressure so I’m looking forward to being part of an alternative, more positive message around drinking.

Australian Paralympic Committee CEO, Jason Hellwig believes it is an ideal partnership for both organisations.

“We have inspirational athletes who are well equipped to help young Australians deal with the peer pressure around drinking, and it’s a cause our entire organisation believes in,” Hellwig said.

“Through some of our athletes, I’ve seen first-hand the devastating consequences of poor decision making when under the influence and the traumatic effects it has had on them and their families.

“The sponsorship will also provide much needed support for the upcoming Wheelchair Rugby Tri Nations Series from 18-20 September, which sees Australia competing with two of the world’s best teams, the USA and New Zealand.”

A total of 16 National Sporting Organisations, including Equestrian Australia, are now part of Be the Influence.

Be the Influence - Tackling Binge Drinking is managed by the Australian National Preventive Health Agency and further detail can be found at 

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