RGAW Event – Betting in Sport
Today is Mother’s day and the weather could not be more spectacular.
Clear blue skies stretch as far as the eye can see and there is a soft warm glow emanating from the sun making it a perfect day for sport.
Although the focus for a majority of people would be celebrating the matriarch in their family, today Melvin from PEACE is are out giving a speech at a community sports event for Responsible Gambling Awareness Week (RGAW) I guess we could call it a ‘Mother’s day classic’.
The event is a monthly cricket match that is held in North Adelaide on the Barton Terrace grounds for different CALD teams. We are here today to speak to players from the SBS Strikers and the Pushton 6er’s. These teams represent both the Indian and Afghan communities respectively.
When we arrive just before midday we are told that there are just 9 overs left to play. The Pashtun team has scored a total of 169 runs from 20 overs with the SBS team closing in fast.
Looking around there is a sense of jovial excitement in the air. Players on the sidelines watch on in anticipation of who will come up victorious and it is quite evident that these are teams are made up of people who enjoy each other’s company with the playful banter and deep laughter echoing around the field.
We ask one of the players the score and are informed that there is now 4 overs left to play and the Strikers are closing in on the winning score, needing just 27 runs to win.
Just a few minutes after I have asked this question and a roar comes from the oval; the strikers have won the match!
After the customary handshakes the teams are ushered over to a nearby grassy area by one of PEACE’s Afghan community ambassadors Uzair Safi, who has also participated in the match.
Speaking today is Melvin who works as part of PEACE in the gambling help team. This is just one of many events that PEACE will cover in the weeks surrounding and including responsible gambling awareness week, the focus this year being on the effect that gambling has on friends, family and the community.
Melvin addresses the players and talks about sports betting. How the rise of betting apps on phones is becoming an increasing issue among young males and how these problems can become very serious in a short time. The audience present is solely male so Melvin takes the time to talk about how his experiences in all male environments affected his ability to seek help in a more timely fashion and finally he outlines all the different, confidential services that PEACE is able to offer.
After the talk and fielding a few questions the team and the rest of the group sit and share a meal in the warmth of what was truly a stunning afternoon.