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Baseball league to tackle binge drinking

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THE HON MARK BUTLER MP Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Minister for Social Inclusion Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform


EMBARGOED 27 October 2012


The Australian Baseball Federation and the Australian Baseball League have formed a landmark partnership to become the newest members of the Be the Influence: Tackling Binge Drinking campaign.

Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler said the campaign launched in June 2012 was part of the Gillard Government’s National Binge Drinking Strategy.

“Sports that sign up to the initiative receive sponsorship funding from the Government and agree to remove alcohol sponsorship from their code,” Mr Butler said.

“It’s a great way for these sports to access an alternative form of sponsorship to alcohol sponsorship and at the same time promote a healthy message about athletes being a positive influence on young people.”

“The athletes carry a positive message about a healthy lifestyle and a responsible approach to drinking which we know is a powerful way of influencing young people.”

Australian Baseball’s involvement in this initiative brings the number of national sporting organisations displaying the Be the Influence branding to 14.

“It’s great to add baseball to the list of national sporting codes who’ve joined up which includes Football Federation of Australia, Basketball Australia and Swimming Australia,” Mr Butler said.

Australian Baseball League CEO Peter Wermuth said the sport is thrilled to join up to the initiative.

"The Australian Baseball League is very excited about our new partnership as it perfectly aligns with the Australian Baseball League’s goal of providing a fun, family-friendly environment at games,” Mr Wermuth said.

“As baseball continues to grow in popularity and participation right across the country, this sponsorship partnership allows us to promote a positive health message to many young Australians.” Mr Wermuth said.

The funding, out of the $25 million government sponsorship initiative, aims to promote a responsible drinking message - particularly with young people.

The Australian Baseball Federation is the governing body for all levels of baseball throughout the country.

The Australian Baseball League is Australia's premiere professional baseball competition, showcasing the best of Australian’s emerging baseball stars as well as offering a highly competitive alternative

offseason league for Australian and international players competing in northern hemisphere leagues, including Major League Baseball in the United States.

The new sponsorship agreement acts strictly as an alternative to alcohol sponsorship at Australian Baseball League games and does not affect the pourage rights and service of alcohol at stadiums and events during the season.

Media contact: Tim O’Halloran, 0409 059 617