Masterton rugby club tackles smoking

PIERS FULLER
Last updated 12:08 23/05/2012
Quit smoking
PIERS FULLER

POSTER BOYS: Pioneer Senior rugby players Eric Kohitolu, Tipene Haira and Conan Gray with the under-9 team that featured in the ``Turn Your Back On Tobacco'' billboard that has just been unveiled at their grounds.

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President of Pioneer Rugby Club president Dan Te Tau admits that a disproportionate number of his club members smoke so it is a place where the Tupeka Kure anti-smoking initiative can make a real difference.

Dan's sister Victoria Te Tau is with the Wairarapa DHB's Smoking Cessation unit and together they thought Pioneer would be the perfect club to kick-start the local campaign. Both siblings gave up smoking around 13 years ago and haven't looked back since. In fact, when Dan found out that Victoria had quit he quit that very same day.

Health provider Whaiora is sponsoring the swish new Pioneer Seniors rugby jerseys that have "Tupeka Kure, Turn Your Back On Tobacco" emblazoned on the back. The jerseys also have the year 2025 on the sleeve which serves as a reminder of the target for a Smokefree New Zealand. It's looking like a good year for Pioneer with their seniors currently leading the competition.

Whaiora nurse Hera Edwards spoke to club members at the unveiling of the "Turn Your Back On Tobacco" billboard on the boundary of the main field. The billboard features members of the Pioneer U-9 rugby team lined up with their backs to the camera. All the U-9 players were there last Thursday night in uniform for the unveiling. Ms Edwards talked to the crowd about the importance of their community moving towards being smokefree. All the kids were treated to a barbecue after their practice and club secretary Mike Kawana also had a few words to share. The Pioneer netballers are going to unveil a similar sign across the road at the netball complex.

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- Wairarapa News

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