Today, Ottawa Public Health recognized the leadership of the Ottawa Royals Kickin’ in the Capital tournament organizer, Jane Dennis for her efforts in making this sports event tobacco-free. The Ottawa Royals Soccer Club, which is affiliated with the Eastern Ontario District Soccer Association, established their tobacco-free policy at the beginning of the 2009 season, requiring that all players, coaches and spectators refrain from smoking or using tobacco products during league games and activities.The tobacco-free policy not only prevents second-hand smoke exposure from cigarettes at games, but also prevents other forms of tobacco use, such as chew, spit or snus. Tobacco-free events serve as positive role-modeling tool for both youth taking part in the competition and for spectators. Smoke-free events remove the some of the triggers that can signal a person’s craving for nicotine. As well, smoke-free environments support people who have quit or who are trying to quit and can help make quit attempts more successful.To ensure that the Royals tobacco-free policy was widely known and followed, it was explained to players by coaches, advertised in the schedules and promoted throughout the season with banners advertising a healthy lifestyle. The Ottawa Royals Soccer Club’s tobacco-free policy helped earn its Silver Level Club Excellence Award from the Ontario Soccer Association.The City of Ottawa recently amended its smoke-free by-laws to create smoke-free outdoor spaces on all municipal property, including: all city parks; beaches; playgrounds; sports fields and outdoor areas around city facilities; the ByWard and Parkdale Market stands; and all restaurant and bar patios. The Ottawa Royals Soccer Club’s tobacco-free policy and the City of Ottawa’s by-law compliment each other to ensure that sporting events, young athletes and spectators remain tobacco-free.The boy’s tournament takes place August 11-12, while the girl’s tournament runs September 8-9, 2012.Congratulations Jane! read more..