“E raka te maui e raka te katau" "A community can use all the skills of its people”
In a large survey of New Zealand adults in 2015, 4 out of 10 (44.4%) persons reported that they were members of one or more clubs, gyms or recreational centres. Almost 1,000,000 adults volunteered in sport and recreation, and over one in ten adults took on the role of a coach / trainer /teacher / instructor.
In a 2011 survey of New Zealand children and adolescents (5-18 years), 60% of boys and 50% of girls belonged to a sports club. Four out of every ten volunteered in sports activities. 
In relation to 15-18 year olds, 51% of boys and 47% of girls belonged to a sport club in the past year.
The importance of sport in the culture of New Zealand highlights the role of clubs in providing a health-promoting setting. The importance of sports clubs as a setting to reduce alcohol consumption is highlighted in the World Health Organisation Global Alcohol Strategy.
Many adults who are involved in sport, whether participants or spectators, are heavy drinkers . Among sportspeople, heavy drinking is also associated with other risky behaviours such as drink-driving, unprotected and unplanned sex and antisocial behaviour .
The relationship between heavy alcohol use and sports participation is complex. As mentioned in the Advertising and Promotion section, sport is a primary vehicle for the promotion of alcohol in New Zealand.
Alcohol industry sports sponsorship has been shown to play a role in increasing binge drinking among those who participate in sport clubs/events [7, 44].
In a study of New Zealand sportspeople, 48% reported that they received sponsorship from an alcohol sponsor and 47% indicated that they received free and/or discounted alcohol products . New Zealand players who received sponsorship at the individual, team and/or club level were found to be more likely to drink hazardously than those who do not receive sponsorship . In particular, those who received free and/or discounted alcohol and/or felt that they should go to the sponsor's pub/club to drink were also more likely to drink hazardously. These results have also been found in Australia, whereby sports players who receive sponsorship were found to be more likely to be hazardous drinkers than those who did not .
Sponsorship in sports clubs may take several forms [44, 45]:
Many sports clubs have a liquor licence. As such, as a licensed premises they also present a risk for alcohol-related harm. Rather than being a place to promote health and wellbeing, a sports club may present a risk for hazardous drinking. In a New Zealand study  of Pacific adolescent drinkers, participating in a sports team or sports club outside of school was found to increase the likelihood that an adolescent reported binge drinking.
Sports clubs can reduce the risk of hazardous drinking by its members if they [5,6]:
 Sport New Zealand, 2015. Sport and Active Recreation in the Lives of New Zealand Adults. 2013/14 Active New Zealand Survey Results.
 Sport New Zealand, 2012. Sport and Recreation in the Lives of Young New Zealanders. Wellington: Sport New Zealand.
 Ipsos and Sport New Zealand, 2014. Sport and Recreation in the Lives of 15 to 18-year-old Girls. Wellington: Sport New Zealand.
 World Health Organization, 2010. Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. Geneva: Author.
 Kingsland, M., Wolfenden, L., Tindall, J., Rowland, B. C., Lecathelinais, C., Gillham, K. E., ... & Crundall, I. (2015). Tackling risky alcohol consumption in sport: a cluster randomised controlled trial of an alcohol management intervention with community football clubs. J Epidemiol Community Health, jech-2014.
 Kingsland, M., Wolfenden, L., Rowland, B. C., Gillham, K. E., Kennedy, V. J., Ramsden, R. L., ... & Wiggers, J. H. (2013). Alcohol consumption and sport: a cross-sectional study of alcohol management practices associated with at-risk alcohol consumption at community football clubs. BMC public health, 13(1), 762.