Since the 2007 ban, smoking within indoor facilities such as leisure centres and indoor sports arenas has been against the law. The legislation passed in 2007, however, does not extend to outdoor areas within these facilities and does not cover recreational areas and playing fields where children participate in sport across Wales.
We are calling for sports clubs to champion positive change within their own facilities and within their community to create lasting impact and awareness.
This project seeks to connect young people’s natural attraction to physical activity and the influence of sports teams in Wales to promote healthy lifestyle choices. Our focus is on promoting smokefree spaces where children can play, socialise and develop.
Almost half of children in Wales participate in sporting activity three or more time a week according to research by Sport Wales. A survey of over 116,000 Welsh school children showed more than half of all boys and a third of girls play sport.1
Why Smokefree Sport?
Given the choice young people would like to participate and enjoy sport in a clean, healthy, smokefree environment. We recently surveyed 125 children with 99% saying they didn’t want adults smoking around them when playing sport.
We also asked the children if they thought smoking was common or uncommon in Wales and 88% said they thought smoking was common. When asked what percentage of people smoke in Wales the average answer was over half the population at 56%.
Children and young people are highly influenced by what they see around them and the “important” people in their lives. Ensuring sports grounds, leisure centres and playing fields are smokefree will help denormalise smoking and change young people’s perceptions that smoking is a common activity.
ASH Wales recently teamed up with Ospreys in the Community to launch our Smokefree Sports message at their annual beach tag festival. The event took place at Swansea Bay beach with over 300 children from the local area in attendance.
We wanted to find out what children thought about people smoking around them and how it made them feel. Out of those we asked 88% said that adults smoking around them made them sad and a further 97% knew that smoking made people worse at sport.
Clive Oliver, Schools and Clubs Community Officer from Ospreys in the Community, said: “Tobacco and sport just don’t mix. Ospreys in the Community aims to harness social good and empower positive life choices. There is no doubt going smokefree is one of the healthiest messages a sporting club can share with its community.”
Smokefree Sports Signage
If you are involved with a sports team or facility and want to find out more about our Smokefree Sports campaign please contact Kimberley@ashwales.org.uk