Oxfordshire Smokefree Sidelines is a collaboration between the Oxfordshire FA, Berks and Bucks FA, Active Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire County Council and the counties’ local youth football leagues.
We aim to introduce a culture of smokefree sidelines across Oxfordshire to encourage harm reduction to those exposed to smoking. Children and young people are at risk the more they are exposed to smoke and the acceptance of smoking in our society. Furthermore, young people are most at risk of becoming smokers themselves if they grow up in communities where smoking is the norm. The aim of smokefree sidelines is to change social norms and work to prevent the uptake of smoking in young people. One approach to address this is to promote outside spaces used by children and young people as voluntary smokefree areas.
Smoking remains the biggest cause of preventable deaths in Oxfordshire and is known to increase health inequalities within our society. Smoking often starts as a childhood addiction and evidence has shown that most adult smokers started smoking at a young age.
The move for clubs to adopt a smokefree sidelines policy complements existing club policies or supports your club’s desire to create a healthy family-friendly environment. We believe that such an environment and image will be advantageous in attracting new members and positively promoting the club within your local community.
A survey of local youth football clubs found that 86% thought that smoking on the sidelines where young people play and train is not acceptable and 85% felt it negatively impacted their enjoyment of the game. Two key reasons for not asking a fellow supporter not to smoke on the sideline was that there was a lack of a policy and signage.
Together with Oxfordshire Football Association and youth leagues we aim to:
- Work collectively and individually, to promote smokefree sidelines in order to provide healthy, safe places that give everyone a chance to perform at their best in their chosen sport or activity.
- To educate members of your club including children and young people about the dangers of smoking and the short and long term health consequences of smoking.
For agreeing to adopt an Oxfordshire smokefree sidelines policy and as a participating club, you will receive the following support from the above partners:
- Free brief intervention training and information on the initiative
- A pre-written policy for club to adopt
- Promotional material for use in correspondence and marketing materials
- Free smokefree sideline resources for games and training days in and around the club setting
Adopting smokefree sidelines is not about targeting smokers unfairly, but more asking current smokers 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 side lines and smoke where children and young adults are not present. As a sports club involved in creating positive environments for wellbeing, we want to support our members and supporters who want to consider quitting. This is done through on-going promotion and developing as active role models to the children and young people involved in our club
Oxfordshire Youth Football League:
For more information or support to quit smoking in Oxfordshire please visit www.smokefreelifeoxfordshire.co.uk or www.nhs.uk/smokefree
Alternatively, phone 01869 814 216 or 0800 246 1072, or text QUIT to 66777
Rob Roslyn via firstname.lastname@example.org
Witney & District Youth Football League:
Terry Williams via email@example.com
Oxfordshire Girls Youth League:
Paul Riley via firstname.lastname@example.org
John Ayling via email@example.com
Oxfordshire FA: Development@OxfordshireFA.com