Stub it out! Shouldham Youth Football Club joins campaign to show red card to smoking on the sidelines
- Credit: Norfolk FA
Smokers are being told to kick the habit at youth football games in a bid to stop impressionable youngsters lighting up.
Shouldham Youth Football Club is the latest to join the #SmokefreeSidelines initiative, which encourages spectators to refrain from smoking pitchside and near playing areas, where children and young people can see it.
The campaign was launched in July at Norfolk FA's largest tournament - The FDC Youth Cup - by NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Smokefree Norfolk and Norfolk FA, with support from Norfolk district councils.
In the last two months 12 clubs, have signed up to become a 'champion' of the scheme for their district, with Shouldham Youth FC flying the flag for King's Lynn and West Norfolk. Phil Riedlinger, chairman of Shouldham Youth FC, said: 'We are so pleased as a club to be involved in such a positive scheme.
'Being a member of a youth football club is so much more than just the game and we welcome to opportunity to help promote healthy living in West Norfolk for the players and their families.'
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All clubs involved in #SmokefreeSidelines have been provided with pitchside flags, t-shirts and banners so they can spread the word throughout the season.
James Wade, from Smokefree Norfolk, said: 'Around 35pc of children who smoke start around the age of 12 years, with 90pc of those children starting smoking because a family member does or because they feel peer pressure from their friends.'
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Tracy Williams, chairman of NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: 'Children are influenced by what they see.
'They copy what adults do and young people are most at risk of becoming smokers themselves if they grow up in communities where smoking is the norm.
'The most effective way to prevent young people from becoming smokers is to encourage adult smokers to quit and to remove young people's exposure to smoking.'
Norfolk FA chairman, Michael Banham said: 'We at Norfolk FA are delighted that so many clubs have come forward to get involved in a project that can have a real positive impact on the lives of Norfolk's youth footballers.
'We are hopeful that the fantastic response we have seen this season will only increase awareness, resulting in more clubs getting involved in 2018 and less children being exposed to smoking.'
Elizabeth Nockolds, West Norfolk council deputy leader and cabinet member for culture, heritage and health, said: 'We're pleased to be supporting Smokefree Sidelines and we're delighted that Shouldham Youth FC have got involved to lead the way in our borough.
'We want to see children and young people having fun and enjoying playing and watching sport in as healthy an environment as possible.'
Norfolk football clubs currently signed up to #SmokefreeSidelines
? Fakenham Town FC (North Norfolk)
? Horsford Youth FC (Broadland)
? Aylsham FC (Broadland)
? Shouldham Youth FC (King's Lynn and West Norfolk)
? Thetford Town FC (Breckland)
? Dereham Town Youth FC (Breckland)
? Thetford Rovers FC (Breckland)
? Old Catton JFC (Norwich)
? Cringleford FC (Norwich)
? Scole United FC (South Norfolk)
? Gorleston Rangers FC (Great Yarmouth)
? Gorleston FC (Great Yarmouth)