BC Athletes to Speak Out Against Tobacco UsePacificSport registered athletes to share “be your best. be tobacco free” message(September 11th , 2007) – The Tobacco Free Sports (TFS) program has a new face – nine new faces to be exact.
Starting this month, the Tobacco Free Sports program, a provincial initiative funded by the Ministry of Health in partnership with PacificSport, Alcohol Drug Education Services (ADES) and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), will have nine PacificSport registered athletes representing the program as the Tobacco Free Sports Athlete Ambassadors.
“I know I could not have achieved the success I have if I used tobacco products,“ says Kamloops mountain biker Catharine Pendrel, Gold Medalist at the 2007 Pan American Games. “Sport has been a huge influence in my life providing me with great self respect, confidence, identity and rich opportunities. For kids that are tobacco users, I believe setting athletic goals can provide the motivation and peer group to help them be tobacco free.”
This energetic and dynamic group, representing all regions of the province, has been prepped with professional public speaker training from the Esteem Team, a national non-profit organization that promotes athlete role models to inspire youth to achieve their life goals, as well as tobacco use prevention information from Vancouver Coastal Health. The athletes will be speaking at a variety of sporting, non-sporting, school and community events, weaving their personal sport story into the risks and effects associated with tobacco use.
“Tobacco use is still the single greatest cause of preventable illness and death across BC,” says Minister of State for ActNow BC, Gordon Hogg. “If we can harness and distribute the positive message coming from these athletes we can inspire future generations to work toward a healthy, tobacco free life.”
ActNow BC is a partnership-based cross-ministry health and wellness initiative that promotes healthy living choices to improve the quality of life for all British Columbians.
“Each of these athletes has had to work extremely hard to get to where they are in their respective sport and each of them has a story to tell of their journey, says Roger Skillings, PacificSport CEO. “They have set goals, overcome obstacles, and have made positive choices in their lives. They are excellent role models for youth and adults alike and their message of living life tobacco free is very powerful.”
For more information about the TFS Athlete Ambassadors, or to inquire about booking an Athlete Ambassador for an event, contact Janet Filipenko, Program Coordinator at email@example.com or 604-730-7273.
The Tobacco Free Sports Athlete Ambassadors are:
Stacie Anaka (Victoria - Wrestling), Michelle Bartleman (Sea-to-Sky Corridor - Skeleton), Josh Dueck (Okanagan - Para-alpine Skiing), Andrea Dziewior (Vancouver Island - Para-alpine Skiing), Spencer Landsiedel (Fraser Valley - Swimming/Modern Pentathlon), Ali Lee (Victoria - Field Hockey), Callum Ng (Vancouver - Swimming), Catharine Pendrel (BC Interior - Mountain Biking), and Chris Wong (Northern BC/Vancouver - Freestyle Skiing).
Media Contact: Joanna FoxPacificSport Manager of CommunicationsC: (250) 882-5426O: (250) 744-5537
Program Contact:Janet FilipenkoPacificSport TFS Program CoordinatorO: (604) 730-7273