A youth football club has been chosen to be West Norfolk champions for a countywide initiative against smoking on the sidelines.
Shouldham YFC launched Norfolk Smokefree Sidelines, which aims to help promote and introduce a culture of smokefree sidelines across Norfolk, at their under-12s match against Necton on Sunday.
With an aim to promote smokefree sidelines to provide healthy, safe places to give everyone a chance to perform at their best, Shouldham YFC together with Norfolk County FA want to educate club members about the dangers of smoking as well as its short and long term consequences.
Chairman of Shouldham YFC, Phil Riedlinger said: “Adopting smokefree sidelines is not about targeting smokers unfairly, but more asking current smokers and vape users to be aware of their visibility to children who may see them smoking.
“The idea is to encourage smokers to either refrain from smoking during the match or to move away from the sildelines and smoke where children and young adults and not present.
“As a sports club actively involved in health promotion we want to support our members and supporters who want to consider quitting. This is done through ongoing promotion and developing as active role models to the children and young people involved in our club.”
Norfolk Smokefree Sildelines is a collaboration between Norfolk FA, Active Norfolk, Smoke Free Norfolk, Healthy Norwich, Norfolk County Council Public Health, and West Norfolk Council.
West Norfolk Council deputy leader and cabinet member for culture, heritage and health,Elizabeth Nockolds, said: “We’re so pleased to be supporting Smokefree Sidelines, and we’re delighted that ShouldhamYFC have got involved to lead the way in out borough.
“We want to see children and young people having fun and enjoying playing and watching sport in as healthy an environment as possible.”