Active Oxfordshire supports Oxfordshire Smoke Free Sidelines

Active Oxfordshire supports Oxfordshire Smoke Free Sidelines

Posted: Wed, 23 Sep 2020 12:51

Active Oxfordshire supports Oxfordshire Smoke Free Sidelines

Active Oxfordshire is delighted to be part of a new county-wide collaboration, Oxfordshire Smokefree Sidelines. This new campaign calls for smoke-free sidelines at matches, with parents and spectators asked to refrain from smoking when watching youth football. This collaboration is set to create healthier and safer environments for families and children to enjoy getting active.

About Oxfordshire Smokefree Sidelines

Oxfordshire Smokefree Sidelines is a collaboration between the Oxfordshire FA, Berks and Bucks FA, Active Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire County Council and counties' local youth football leagues. A survey of local youth football clubs found that 86% thought smoking on sidelines was not acceptable and 85% felt it negatively impacted on their enjoyment of the game.

Oxfordshire Smokefree Sidelines is designed to introduce a culture of smokefree sidelines at matches to reduce harm for those exposed to smoking. Smoking remains the biggest cause of preventable deaths in Oxfordshire, often starts as a childhood addiction and evidence shows that most adult smokers started smoking at a young age.

Together with Oxfordshire Football Association and youth leagues, this new collaboration will promote smokefree sidelines to provide healthy, safe places that give everyone a chance to perform at their best in their chosen sport or activity. Clubs taking part will also be able to educate club members, including children and young people, about the dangers of smoking and the short and long-term health consequences of smoking.

Benefits for clubs taking part

Clubs who agree to adopt an Oxfordshire Smokefree Sidelines policy and participate will receive a range of support and benefits:

  • Free brief intervention training and information on the initiative
  • A pre-written policy for club to adopt
  • Promotional material for use in correspondence and marketing materials
  • Free smokefree sideline resources for games and training days in and around the club setting

Michael Thurlow from Oxfordshire FA says:

"We are delighted to be launching this fantastic initiative that will help improve the playing environment for young players across the county. We want to encourage grassroots youth clubs across Oxfordshire to sign up and pledge to become smoke free."

Josh Lenthall from Active Oxfordshire added:

"We fully support this excellent county-wide collaboration. With activity levels for children at an all-time low as a result of COVID-19, this collaboration will make a real difference in creating a healthier and more positive environment for Oxfordshire's children and young people to enjoy the benefits of physical activity."

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