As of this season, the KNVB will be joining up with the Netherlands Heart Foundation (Hartstichting) to work for tobacco-free sports complexes. The aim is to make the outdoor facilities of amateur clubs as smoke-free as possible, so that children are not confronted with smoking while engaging in sports activities.
The KNVB is supporting the Hartstichting’s initiative together with the Netherlands hockey federation (KNHB) and the korfball association (KNKV). The Hartstichting has been calling on sports clubs to ban smoking on their grounds. Many children are members of a sports club. As many as 800,000 children under the age of 18 hold membership cards in football, hockey and basketball alone.
Sports and health are important for children, and smoking has no place in a healthy sports environment.
The number of clubs enforcing a non-smoking policy for children has increased significantly in recent years. At the end of 2016, there were approximately 60 sports clubs with strictly non-smoking outdoor areas for children, now the number has gone up to 140. The Hartstichting is expecting that 25 more sports clubs will introduce non-smoking measures as of this season.
"It is good to see that so many clubs and sports associations have joined this initiative. The KNVB is also committed to a smoke-free policy for sports environments; our own KNVB Campus is a good example of this. Sports and health are important for children, and smoking has no place in a healthy sports environment," says Jan Dirk van der Zee, Director of the Netherlands Amateur Football Association. At major KNVB events, such as matches of the national team, smoking has been prohibited for many years.