Leading the way

BUTT OUT: Whyalla Netball Association has decided to 'bite the bullet' and is now enforcing a total smoke free ban at the courts. Whyalla Netball Association president Marlene Kenny is hoping all patrons at the complex will respect the new rule.
BUTT OUT: Whyalla Netball Association has decided to 'bite the bullet' and is now enforcing a total smoke free ban at the courts. Whyalla Netball Association president Marlene Kenny is hoping all patrons at the complex will respect the new rule.

Whyalla Netball Association has taken a step forward in promoting a healthy image at the court, this season the association will welcome a complete smoking ban in the complex.

Whyalla Netball Association president Marlene Kenny said the association decided to 'bite the bullet' at the end of last season and ban smoking from the complex completely.

"So players, spectators, umpires, coaches will need to go on the outside of the park to smoke this season," she said.

Mrs Kenny said the ban was something the association had been planning for some time.

"We've been planning to make changes to the smoking policy here at netball for the last couple of years," Mrs Kenny said.

Initially, a boundary was put in place around the netball courts for the smokers which has since expanded over the years.

Mrs Kenny was unsure how well the changes would be received this Saturday as the first netball matches of the season kick off, but said it was about the health and wellbeing of players.

"We have lots of kids here and on windy days when people are smoking in the areas that were assigned to them there was a few incidences where parents have come up to us and said 'hey I know they are smoking where they are supposed to be but the wind is blowing and the kids can taste it in their mouths'," Mrs Kenny said.

"We need to be thinking health conscious and even though we are an outdoor environment, smoke is still being transferred to those not in the smoking area."

Signs have been installed around the complex to remind patrons of the rule and Mrs Kenny said members of the association would be reminding players, coaches and spectators on the PA.

"Hopefully people will be respectful of that," Mrs Kenny said.

"If not they may be asked to leave the complex - we think that is fair and reasonable."

This is a big step forward for smoking policies in outdoor sports in Whyalla, and Mrs Kenny hopes it may lead the way for other sporting associations.

"Maybe us females will be leading the way," she said.

"Maybe this might put some pressure on other sporting organisations to do the same."