The Don’t Mess With Drugs Foundation Education Program status continues to grow with the fledging non for profit charity featuring in the “first break” on Channel Seven news on Saturday night. In a massive boost for the charity’s exposure the Channel Seven cameras and Reporter Michelle Bishop attended the third major pilot program at Hockey NSW. The story featured two outstanding Hockey NSW players from the elite Athlete Acceleration Program, Claudia Johnston from Kirrawee, and Annika Toohey from Port Macquarie. Both girls spoke superbly about the drug problem both socially and in sport. How prevalent drugs were in society and that the easy access to drugs was scary. Presenter Chloe Kerr was also a part of the story talking about the drug environment and how important it was to understand the situation to be able to make wise, sensible decisions.
Hockey NSW Player Welfare Manager Richard Willis spoke on the proactive program trying to solve the problem early on before it becomes much more significant later. He said the program was cutting off the problem at the source. The two girls then reinforced how important it was to be able to discuss the drug problem with their parents who would also be involved in the program. Annika Toohey’s father Jed, reinforced the program’s proactive approach and being able to communicate with his children at home about the drug problem. Reporter Michelle Bishop highlighted in the story the support DMWD has engaged with Sport NSW. It was also mentioned how DMWD has met with the Sports Ministers office and it was hoped the program would be rolled out in NSW in 2018.
Richard Willis was thrilled with the exposure for Hockey NSW: “To receive that exposure on Channel Seven News for our sport supporting such a wonderful initiative is just fantastic, we are thrilled to be involved with DMWD and will be supporting the program ongoing.”
Jed Toohey who drove his daughter Annika to Sydney for the weekend camp was taken
aback by the experience: “Having parents involved in a program where they can communicate with their children in dealing with such a major problem as drugs is just great. We don’t get opportunities like this back home at Port Macquarie. We will become ambassadors for DMWD in our home town for sure.”
The final Lesson 3 to complete the major pilot program was extremely well received by the athletes (60 males and 55 females). It was interactive which engaged the athletes from the start, they also wanted to know more about the types of drugs that can impact on their lives and sporting careers. The athletes were also very interested in the mentor system which DMWD is planning to introduce in 2018. Once more information is available they will be kept informed. They were told how individual athletes would be chosen by coaches and club officials, the potential mentor would be trained by DMWD. They would then mentor at their local club, then other clubs, schools and other sports. The students all received their certificates of completion which will be handy in their resumes when they present them to a potential employer.
The weekend with both the elite females and male hockey players was an outstanding success, the DMWD Education Program is continuing to improve as each major pilot program is undertaken. The outcome hopefully, is 115 more ambassadors for the DMWD Education Program. The 2017 pilot programs concludes in Dec 22 and new programs will commence at the end of Jan 2018 covering other sports prior to a full rollout.
Talks have been arranged with Sport NSW and the NSW Government regarding the next moves to be made as DMWD builds to a hopeful roll out in 2018. Channel Seven News also wants to be kept informed on DMWD developments.