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Tackling risky alcohol consumption in sport: a cluster randomised controlled trial of an alcohol management intervention with community football clubs
  1. Melanie Kingsland1,2,
  2. Luke Wolfenden1,2,
  3. Jennifer Tindall2,
  4. Bosco C Rowland3,
  5. Christophe Lecathelinais2,
  6. Karen E Gillham2,
  7. Pennie Dodds1,
  8. Maree N Sidey4,
  9. John C Rogerson4,
  10. Patrick McElduff1,
  11. Ian Crundall4,
  12. John H Wiggers1,2
  1. 1School of Medicine and Public Health, the University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Hunter New England Population Health, Wallsend, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3School of Psychology, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia
  4. 4Australian Drug Foundation, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Melanie Kingsland, Hunter New England Population Health, Locked Bag 10, Wallsend, NSW 2287, Australia; melanie.kingsland{at}


Background An increased prevalence of risky alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm has been reported for members of sporting groups and at sporting venues compared with non-sporting populations. While sports clubs and venues represent opportune settings to implement strategies to reduce such risks, no controlled trials have been reported. The purpose of the study was to examine the effectiveness of an alcohol management intervention in reducing risky alcohol consumption and the risk of alcohol-related harm among community football club members.

Method A cluster randomised controlled trial of an alcohol management intervention was undertaken with non-elite, community football clubs and their members in New South Wales, Australia. Risky alcohol consumption (5+ drinks) at the club and risk of alcohol-related harm using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) were measured at baseline and postintervention.

Results Eighty-eight clubs participated in the trial (n=43, Intervention; n=45, Control) and separate cross-sectional samples of club members completed the baseline (N=1411) and postintervention (N=1143) surveys. Postintervention, a significantly lower proportion of intervention club members reported: risky alcohol consumption at the club (Intervention: 19%; Control: 24%; OR: 0.63 (95% CI 0.40 to 1.00); p=0.05); risk of alcohol-related harm (Intervention: 38%; Control: 45%; OR: 0.58 (95% CI 0.38 to 0.87); p<0.01); alcohol consumption risk (Intervention: 47%; Control: 55%; OR: 0.60 (95% CI 0.41 to 0.87); p<0.01) and possible alcohol dependence (Intervention: 1%; Control: 4%; OR: 0.20 (95% CI 0.06 to 0.65); p<0.01).

Conclusions With large numbers of people worldwide playing, watching and sports officiating, enhancing club-based alcohol management interventions could make a substantial contribution to reducing the burden of alcohol misuse in communities.

Trial registration number ACTRN12609000224224.


This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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