With Community Club Awareness Week to be recognised from 12 to 16 September 2022, Clubs Queensland is set to re-launch a campaign to coincide with celebrations.
Designed to raise awareness of the importance of community clubs and the benefits they provide, the campaign will refresh your memory as to why community clubs exist as “the original social network”.
Long before the arrival of the digital age, community clubs were the cornerstone of society. Clubs played a critical role in building social capital and delivering positive community health and wellbeing outcomes, and they still do. As a society however, we are in need of a wakeup call.
With advancement in technology, we are supposed to be more connected than ever before, but in many instances, this could not be further from the truth. Thanks to Globalism, technology, social media, information overload, or our increasingly time-poor lives, studies show we are spending less time physically connecting to others in our community. Ironically, the intent of social media was to bring us all closer together but instead it is often the wedge that drives us apart. People have become content to retreat behind their keyboard or mobile phone rather than interact with others face to face.
This self-imposed “isolation” has only been amplified by the arrival of COVID-19, which has been attributed to a decline in mental health. Many within our society at large are more socially isolated now than ever before, and with that said, it is time for action. Now is the time for a call to arms, for people to JOIN THE CLUB. To join their local community club and become part of the original, and most powerful, social network.
The Original Social Network campaign will highlight the benefits of community clubs that can’t be replicated online, namely that:
- Digital communities can never replace the deep, in-person relationships we form in actual, in-person, communities. Clubs are an important way to build these bonds.
- Real life doesn’t require emojis and hashtags. There is no need to express how you are feeling online when you are interacting with people in a physical sense, living in the moment. They can see it, hear it, feel it.
Community clubs enhance connectedness. They provide an opportunity for people to engage with one another, feel safe and enhance connectivity with their community.
- Research shows social connectedness creates higher levels of well-being, benefitting emotional health in areas such as self-esteem and self-efficacy.
- Community clubs also provide the opportunity to promote one’s physical health, as well as their emotional and mental health.
- The setting that community clubs provide not only benefits the individual, they increase social capital by bringing communities together. Community clubs are the glue that unites – part of the social fabric in strong, healthy communities.
- Indeed, community clubs are often where the heart of communities are found. They are central to forming community identities based on common experiences or shared interests.
- If Government wishes to address a national decline in mental health, in some part due to the isolation brought about by this enduring pandemic, they need to look no further than promoting the benefits of people joining their local community club.
- If the Government wishes to address the dangers and potential detrimental impact social media can have on people’s mental health and the increased sense of isolation, they need to look no further than promoting the benefits of people joining their local community club.
- In promoting the benefits of community clubs, we not only hope to encourage more people to join their local club but to garner support from all levels of Government, namely at a State Level, to provide more than a ‘thumbs up’ acknowledgement of our contribution to the communities we serve.
- Through this campaign we aim to remind the Queensland State Government that our community clubs:
Contribute over $2.2 billion dollars to the Queensland economy each year
Employ more than 22,000 people
- And commit $58 million in cash and in-kind support and $853 million in social contribution to the Queensland community each year.
- Everything we do is for the community. Our industry requires ongoing support from all levels of Government and, in particular, the state government in the pursuit of our core purpose of strengthening clubs to benefit communities.
If you would like to find out more, or get involved,