Finnish football club FC Honka invests in a non-alcoholic hobby environment for children and youth
FC Honka and EHYT -Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention cooperate to prevent alcohol harm among children and young people and to support a healthy and sporty lifestyle.
Sports are one of the most popular forms of youth hobby in Finland. More than a half of the young people under 18 participates in sports club activities. Sports are a good channel to reach people from all age groups and status. In addition to home and school, sports and sports clubs can provide a good platform for health promotion.
Alcohol use and binge drinking of minors have decreased throughout the 21st century in Finland. However, alcohol and drug education is still needed in order to maintain the good trend we have and to ensure a good growth environment for our children. Co-operation with sports clubs is a wonderful and inspiring opportunity for substance abuse prevention work,
says Leena Sipinen from EHYT.
Prevention of alcohol use among children and adolescents requires common rules for everybody -both young people themselves as well for adults around.
Adults must set an example for young people when it comes to the alcohol. Coaches in sports clubs are authorities and players at the upper level are often role models for younger players, Sipinen continues.
Alcohol must not belong to the hobby environment of minors
FC Honka is one of the biggest football clubs in Finland with its 1700 juniors. Alcohol, either using, selling or advertising, does not belong to the club activities at all.
The power of the example of adults is enormous in sports and we need to provide drug-free hobby environment for our children also by our own example. It is our job to share information to young players, their parents, coaches and other adults participating. The beginning of the new season is always a great time for repeating policies. In addition to the FC Honka policies and the instructions of the Finnish Football Association, teams will make their own rules for a season. These rules contain alcohol issues too. Our mission is to raise children and young people to a healthy and sporty lifestyle
says Mariet Louhento, Chairman of the Board of FC Honka
A European project started the process of cooperation
FYFA (Focus on Youth, Football and Alcohol) is a project aiming to reduce underage drinking and heavy episodic drinking among young people by working together with sport sector at many levels. Finland is one of the six European countries where junior football players, their coaches and other club members are interviewed about their alcohol-related views. EHYT Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention coordinates the Finnish work package of the project with FC Honka as its national pilot club. The results of the study will be shared back to the football fields in the summer 2019.
For further information:
Mariet Louhento, FC Honka Association, Chairman of the Board,
cf. Executive Director
tel. +358 400 800 858
Leena Sipinen, EHYT -Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention,
work package leader,
tel. +358 40 5575 057 www.ehyt.fi