Leicestershire one-day captain Josh Cobb has leant his support to a county-wide campaign that is trying to help people stop smoking.
Cobb and other renowned sporting figures across Leicestershire came together at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium on Thursday 31st October, to help launch the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust Stop Smoking Service’s brand new campaign – Balls to Stop.
Leicester Tigers and England rugby legend, Neil Back, boxing hero Rendall Munroe and Sarah Treanor, President of Leicester Hockey Club, are all supporting Balls to Stop.
It is a campaign which will utilise the profile and association of seven Leicestershire sporting icons to promote the health and economic effects of smoking, in addition to the help that’s on offer from the Stop Smoking Service through a dedicated team of advisors.
Alongside Neil Back, Rendall Munroe and Leicester Hockey Club’s Great Britain international Nicola White, Leicester City midfielder Andy King, Leicester Riders forward Jamell Anderson, Leicestershire batsman Cobb and legendary cricket commentator Jonathan Agnew have all signed up as ambassadors to support Balls to Stop.
Speaking at the launch of Balls to Stop, Neil Back said: “As an ex-sportsman and somebody that coaches today, smoking is a real ‘no-no’. If you want to be the best you can possibly be, you need to look after your lifestyle and nutrition.
"Smoking is detrimental to performance, so we would encourage you not to smoke. The team of advisors are providing a brilliant service and it’s there to provide you with all the support that you need to give up smoking.”
Fellow Balls to Stop Ambassador, Rendall Munroe, added: “I think that Balls to Stop is a great campaign. As a role model for the youth of today, smoking is something that often starts at a young age.
"For me, it’s good to be able to get out there and show people the reasons as to why smoking isn’t a good thing. Although I’ve never been a smoker, my mum and a few friends have told me how hard it is to stop. Listening to the advisors when they explain the effects of smoking and the best ways to quit has been amazing.”
Sarah Treanor, President of Leicester Hockey Club, said: “We want to promote healthy, active hockey players at any level. It’s not just the elite level at the club; it’s about anybody that picks up a hockey stick. It’s been great to gain an understanding of the help that is available.
"There are people on hand to contact and, if you have made the decision to stop smoking, there are avenues to pursue through the Stop Smoking Service and support structures are in place to be successful.”
Louise Ross, Stop Smoking Service and Tobacco Control Manager, was delighted to officially launch Balls to Stop, said: “The launch has been absolutely amazing. It’s a very exciting time for us; as a service and as a team.
"This campaign makes us feel as though we have an extra level of people supporting us, to help get the message out. We can say so much ourselves, but when other credible people in the sporting world, who have influence with adults and children, can deliver the same message, it can be so much more powerful.”
To find out more about Balls to Stop, and the ambassadors that are offering their support to the campaign, visit www.ballstostop.co.uk