A local cricket club has become the second sports club in the borough to go 'smoke-free' in a bid to protect children from the harms of smoking.
Rochdale Sports Club has signed up to Rochdale Borough Council's Smoke Free Sports scheme and will now enforce a no smoking policy at its junior training sessions and matches to set a good example for their players and promote healthy living.
The club on Bridgefold Road, Rochdale, launched its smoke-free policy at its junior cricket presentation evening on Friday, 8 September 2017 with stop smoking advisers on hand to help anyone wanting to quit.
'No smoking at our club will help protect our children'
Tony Harling, coach and club secretary at the club, 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 as well as our Clubmark status."
Attendees at the event were given the opportunity to find out about the positives of healthy, shared community spaces for families, and the negative impact of smoking on children's health. Parents were also able to offer their opinions and sign a smoke-free sports pledge.
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, which went smoke-free in February this year. The scheme, run by the council in partnership with Link4Life and the Living Well Service, aims to protect children from the harms caused by second-hand smoke and prevent them from taking up smoking themselves.
'Sports and smoking just don't mix!!'
Councillor Jacqueline Beswick, Rochdale Borough Council's 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 01706 751190 or visit stop smoking clinics.