Young sports stars take the Fresh Start pledge
Young sporting stars from Neath Rugby Union and the South Wales Scorpions Rugby League clubs are signing up for a ‘Fresh Start’ this month by helping to raise awareness of the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.
The two Neath-based rugby clubs have come together in a joint campaign for the first time to pledge support to Fresh Start Wales, the Welsh Government’s campaign to raise awareness of the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, especially in cars.
The campaign aims to reduce children’s exposure to second-hand smoke by raising awareness of the associated dangers it poses. Second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals and much of cigarette smoke is invisible and has no smell, which makes it much harder to detect the danger. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of smoking, and with no escape from second-hand smoke are more likely to develop long term conditions such as asthma at an early age.
Dave Clark, Head Coach of the South Wales Scorpions, said: “We are delighted to support the Fresh Start Wales campaign. Our club is very family orientated and we are keen to highlight to our members and supporters the harmful effect smoking in their cars can have on their children and other passengers.
“We promote a healthy lifestyle at our club and we want to encourage optimal performance in our players. Raising awareness and educating on the effects of second-hand smoke will help us to become an even more family-friendly club.”
Sportsmen in particular should be aware of the effects that smoking has on their bodies. The main impact is the decrease in lung function, reducing the body’s intake of oxygen which is essential for muscle function especially when more is demanded of them. This in turn leads to a greater chance of injury. Lack of oxygen can also cause athletes to make poor decisions on the field or even become dizzy and faint.
Pat Horgan, Head Coach of Neath Rugby, said: “The wellbeing of our players and fans is important to us and being able to share this information with them will hopefully help to spread the message even further as they talk to family members and wider friendship networks.
“We would encourage any clubs that want to help their members and create a more family-friendly environment to get on board with the campaign and promote the message.”
Fresh Start Wales has now launched its new Fresh Start Packs, containing information and resources on how smokers can protect their families from the harm second-hand smoke causes and practical tools for those choosing to make a complete fresh start by giving up smoking altogether. More than 1,000 people have already requested and received their packs, which contain a help and support leaflet for those looking to give up smoking completely, as well as a Fresh Start manual, journey map and stickers, health and wealth wheel to demonstrate the physical and fiscal benefits of giving up smoking, car sticker, money box, tangle toy and a ‘Recipe for a Cigarette’ card.
To find out more about Fresh Start Wales and request a Fresh Start Pack, please visit the website at www.freshstartwales.co.uk