Club smokes out health risk to young players
A CRICKET club has become the second sports team in Rochdale to ban smoking near the pitch in a bid to protect its young players.
Rochdale Sports Club will now enforce a no smoking policy at its junior training sessions and matches.
It’s hoped the move will set a good example for their players and promote healthy living.
The club, on Bridgefold Road, launched its smoke free policy at its junior cricket presentation evening last week with stop smoking advisers on hand to help anyone wanting to quit.
Coach and club secretary Tony Harling said: “I am really pleased that we have been able to implement the no smoking scheme at our club. It really does fit hand in glove with our existing safeguarding and protecting children policies.”
The club will also be extending the ban to junior lacrosse and squash training sessions, with plans to include smoke free adult sports down the line.
Rochdale Sports Club follows Bridge Juniors Football Club in Bamford which went smoke free in February.
The scheme, run by the council, Link4Life and the Living Well Service, aims to protect children from the harm caused by second-hand smoke and discourage them from taking up the habit.
Coun Jacqueline Beswick, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We encourage our children to play sports because it’s a great way to stay fit and healthy but we must discourage them from smoking and protect them from second-hand smoke to prevent them developing nasty diseases later in life. Sports and smoking just don’t mix.
“This scheme is just one of the many ways we’re working to make our borough a healthier place to live but we need the help of organisations and residents to continue to prevent the harms second-hand smoke can cause our children. I hope that more and more sports clubs and spectators will do their part to protect our borough’s children for generations to come.”
For free help and support to quit smoking contact the stop smoking service on 751190 or visit rochdale.gov.uk/smoking.
●●Tony Harling, Rochdale Sports Club Secretary (centre), accepts the smoke free pledge from Coun Jacqui Beswick and deputy mayor Coun Mohammed Zaman