Politicians in Georgina are moving toward a sideline smoking ban at the town’s outdoor soccer pitch after complaints that clouds of smoke were wafting over young players during games.
“Last year, I heard kids complaining almost every game that there was a huge cloud of smoke,” said official Peter Gunn, who sparked the butt-out campaign on behalf of the Lake Simcoe Soccer Club for children and youths.
“We want to promote a healthy lifestyle and it doesn’t make sense to have a whack of parents standing on the sidelines smoking.”
The Lake Simcoe league already has a club rule obligating tobacco smokers to stay 20 feet away from the pitches when lighting up.
But league officials had no way of enforcing the rule, which Gunn says is mostly ignored, so town council was asked to pass a bylaw, which has “more teeth,” he said.
The league has kids with serious lung ailments such as asthma, cystic fibrosis and heart conditions.
“Soccer is a very cardio-intensive sport and we were worried about the effects of second-hand smoke on kids while they were running and their lungs were open,” Gunn said.
Furthermore, the pitches were often littered with butts after games.
The matter goes to council next Monday.