March 26, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Joining forces with the nationally ranked Seminole soccer team to help kids fight tobacco, Leon County SWAT, Students Working Against Tobacco, is hosting a Smoke-Free Soccer Night during the FSU/University of Tennessee match-up at 7:00 pm on March 30, 2002. The event will take place at the Seminole Soccer Complex located on Stadium Drive next to the Seminole Softball Complex.
Admission to the game is free, and event planners expect over 500 elementary, middle and high school students from Leon and nearby counties to participate in the evening’s activities. Along with an information booth, SWAT has planned a halftime show that will include youth speakers, games, trivia, prizes and more – all with an anti-tobacco theme. The FSU chapter of STRIKE, a college organization created to address tobacco use on campuses, will also be on site.
“The tie-in with sports, and one of the best soccer teams in the country, is a great way to have fun and excitement while reaching the community with our message,” said Nicole Payne, a Leon county SWAT member and eighth grader at Swift Creek Middle School.
The halftime show will also highlight the Seminoles’ recent community service work, dubbed “Soccer Kicking Butts,” in which team members visited local elementary schools and discussed the harmful effects of tobacco.
“The kids look up to us and hopefully we can set some good examples and be positive role models,” said Joy McKenzie, a sophomore on the FSU soccer squad.
Following the game, players from both the FSU and Tennessee soccer teams will join the young fans for autographs and camaraderie.
Leon County SWAT hopes that soccer’s lead in hosting smoke-free nights may impact future FSU sporting events and that other teams will be interested in similar activities.
For more information on the Smoke-Free Soccer Night, contact Laurie Osgood, Leon County Tobacco Prevention Coordinator, at (850) 487-3162 Ext. 118. Leon County SWAT is one of 67 county SWAT organizations funded by the Department of Health, Division of Health Awareness and Tobacco working to reduce tobacco use among youth in Florida.