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First totally smoke free sports clubs in York

Smoke free sports clubs

8:05pm 20th February 2018

Heworth Rugby Club and York RI New Lane Community Sports Club have become the first clubs in York to team up with City of York Council's YorWellbeing Service and become a smoke free sports club.

Working with the clubs a voluntary code of conduct has been developed, which means that smoking is discouraged anywhere on site including:

• Anywhere on the playing fields, including the side-lines of the pitches
• Near exits, entrances, windows or doorways of any buildings
• In cars parked on site.

As part of this work both clubs have also made a pledge to support the Breathe 2025, an initiative focused on inspiring a smoke free generation where children are raised in a tobacco free environment, where smoking is unusual.

Councillor Carol Runciman, Executive Member for health and adult social care said:

“Smoking kills 79,000 people every year1 and one person is admitted to hospital in England every minute with a smoking-related illness2.

These stats are just some of the reasons that we are delighted to be teaming up with Heworth Rugby Club and York RI New Lane Community Sports Club to try and tackle smoking in sports clubs.

With people of all ages visiting and playing sport at the clubs we hope this partnership will bring wide ranging benefits for people young and old as we look to inspire a smoke free generation.

Any other clubs who are interested in joining this initiative are welcome to contact our YorWellbeing team.”

Steve Towse, Heworth ARLFC Committee member said:

"Heworth Rugby Club is pleased to be involved in a drive to reduce the amount of smoking on the Club grounds and encourage people towards a healthier lifestyle. With 250 junior members,

it’s important that we consider the club environment we offer and how that supports their health and well-being.

By creating areas that are smoke free such as under the main stand, we can be sure that our juniors can watch games without breathing in smoke."

Sean Heslop, Chair of Trustees at York RI New Lane, added:

"We have over 250 junior members and at least that again visiting weekly.

At New Lane we are very aware that supporting smokers to quit is beneficial in itself and that we have a role to play in preventing our youngsters from smoking.

We hope the proactive support in helping smokers quit will encourage our youngsters not to start smoking.

The support we are receiving from the YorWellbeing team is key to us supporting our members and users."

Should your club want to implement this initiative, you can contact the YorWellbeing service on or 01904 553377 for details of the support available.

Those wanting to kick the habit and quit smoking can also get in touch with the city council's  YorWellbeing service. As well as help to quit the team can offer advice and support to help our residents live happier healthier lives.

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