SmokeFree Sports Club Policy launched
17 November 2011
SmokeFree Sports recently joined forces with Liverpool City Council and Liverpool County Football Association to organise an under 12s football tournament to launch its SmokeFree Sports Club Policy.
The 7-a-side tournament, which took place on Friday 28 October at Liverpool Soccer Centre, included ten under 12 year old boys and girls league teams. The tournament was a great success with over 100 young footballers across Liverpool taking part. All players showed a great team spirit and over 50 parents watched the games creating a fantastic atmosphere.
The day finished on a high note, with Everton Ladies and England under-19’s striker Nikita Parris and Liverpool County Football Association Development Manager Hannah Simpson on hand to present team players with trophies and medals of participation.
Dr Lawrence Foweather, SmokeFree Sports Project Lead said:
"This is the first in a series of events we are organising to promote the SmokeFree Sports Club Policy. Voluntary sports clubs across Liverpool are being asked to sign up to the policy and introduce smoke free environments throughout their facilities. That means considering making indoor and outdoor playing areas smoke free when children and young people are present before, during and after a match."
"This is important because research shows that limiting children's exposure to seeing adults smoke reduces the risk of smoking uptake amongst young people in the long term. It is essential that we create an environment where smoking is not the norm and does not represent adulthood.
"The policy has been developed by Liverpool John Moores University following consultation with Liverpool Primary Care Trust, Liverpool City Council Sports Development, Liverpool Sports Forum, Liverpool County Football Association, Merseyside Sports Partnership, Liverpool Football Club and Everton in the Community."
The policy is supported by a three hour workshop which provides sports coaches with the necessary training to promote the smoke free message to children and young people and to deliver brief intervention to support smoke free lifestyles. Ten local football clubs have already shown support and signed up to the club policy. Clubs who adopted the policy received a set of SmokeFree Sports coaching bibs and cones.
Steve Swinnerton, Liverpool City Council Football Development Officer said:
"A smoke free club policy is a step in the right direction as football and sport are about health and performance and smoking is about the opposite: they just don’t mix."
Helen Casstles, SmokeFree Liverpool Co-ordinator said:
"The uptake of smoking by children and young people remains one of our biggest public health challenges. In Liverpool we estimate that 8.1% of males and 12.7% of females aged 15-16 years smoke. Whilst this number is lower than national estimates, smoking is an addiction largely started in childhood and adolescence, so it is crucial to reduce the number of young people taking up smoking in the first place."
Martin Jones, Liverpool Club and Voluntary Sector Development Officer said:
"We’re delighted to support the SmokeFree Sports Club Policy as it will protect the health of our members, decrease their risk of developing smoking related illnesses and encourage maximum sporting performance."
For further information about the SmokeFree Sports Club Policy please contact Ciara McGee, SmokeFree Sports Project Officer, email: C.E.McGee@ljmu.ac.uk