OHA Niagara District Junior C Hockey Club




Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Renegades support tobacco-free message

Spectators will get a chance to win an official Olympic Team Canada hockey jersey while learning how their team can become tobacco free at Friday's Woodstock Renegades Family Night.

Gerry Moniz, tobacco control coordinator for Oxford County public health, will be at Southwood Arena providing information on Ontario's Tobacco-Free Sports and Recreation (TFSR) program.

Tobacco-free sports and recreation means participants, spectators, coaches and leaders do not smoke, snuff, dip or chew tobacco while engaged in the activities of their organization, Moniz said.

"We're promoting organizations or a specific team within an organization develop a policy around tobacco- free sports," Moniz explained. "It means everyone taking part in the sport or recreation activity ... (doesn't) smoke or use tobacco products."

TFSR also encourages members of sports and recreation teams to become positive role models for youth while encouraging physical activity.

"Children and youth model their behaviour after people they look up to," Moniz said.

Moniz also said new tobacco policies would protect children engaged in sports from second-hand smoke.

"We know there is no safe level of second-hand smoke," he said.

Some athletes also hang onto the idea that tobacco -- especially chewing tobacco -- can boast performance.

"There is no evidence of that," Moniz said. "In fact it's just the opposite. Your lung capacity is diminished and your ability as an athlete is decreased."

"There is no gain to chewing tobacco."

While the Renegades are supportive of the tobacco-free project, Moniz said they haven't "developed a policy yet."

"I am working with College Avenue Secondary School developing a policy for some of their sports teams," he said.

Visiting youth to Renegades family night will receive a free TFSR hockey puck and the chance to win the Olympic Team hockey jersey.

The winner will be announced Jan. 25.

For more information visit www.playlivebetobaccofree.ca.

(Source Sentinel-Review)