Club smokes out health risk to young play­ers

Rochdale Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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