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Pokies Given The Kick

Story: Renee McKeown | Photo: Ben McShea
Nov 22, 2019
Pokies Given the Kick
The only game good enough for Sandgate Hawks is Aussie rules since the club has kicked out poker machines recently.

Over the past month, the club’s pokies and licences were sold and a new strategy was announced.

Sandgate Hawks president Scott Albury said gaming machines were not feasible for two reasons.

“We worked at a down in revenue coming in from gaming and to fix it we had to upgrade the machines and we didn’t have the money to do that or compete with some of the bigger places,” he said.

“Also, there was a lot of slant - coming from the community from people who aren’t into gaming - about addiction; there was a big split about that.

“The challenge we now face is how to manage this… we have to raise money to support our footy teams without a fully licenced venue.

“Any hurdle you step through, you worry about, but we’re in a good space.”

There are nearly 500 juniors and more than 100 players (over 18) including men’s and women’s teams. Sandgate Hawks, which started in 1943, has a growing team base and plenty of upgrades underway.

“We’ve seen a real increase in participation from young girls and ladies with the surge of AFLW,” Mr Albury said.

“We’ve been fortunate to receive grants from all levels of government for our dressing sheds, which should be finished by mid-January.

“That project was around making sure we had adequate space for boys and girls.”

The Sandgate Hawks summer skills programs just started with big hopes for their 2020 season in March.

They also run Lions Academy youth football and a program to promote the participation of new Australians in the sport.

Mr Albury said things were on the up and now all the money raised would go directly into supporting football and their future.

“It’s exciting, but there’s plenty to do and we need many hands to get the job done,” he said.

“This means that the Hawks become a community run, volunteer operated, family football club.”

For more details about club changes, teams and events search for ‘Sandgate Hawks’ on Facebook.