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HomeNewsGrande Prairie Minor Baseball league making ball diamonds tobacco, smoke-free

Grande Prairie Minor Baseball league making ball diamonds tobacco, smoke-free

Promoting healthy living and creating a healthier environment for athletes and their families are two reasons why the Grande Prairie Minor Baseball Association is transitioning its facilities to being tobacco and smoke-free. Executive Director Lyneah Watson-Grusie says the idea of making the change started a year ago.

“We had kids who have their bags lined up against the fence and parents standing against the fence line smoking, and we started thinking, ‘wow, this seems so inappropriate,'” Watson-Grusie says. “You wouldn’t see that in a gym, [and] they’ve banned smoking at outdoor playgrounds.”

Grande Prairie Minor Baseball League diamonds are now tobacco and smoke-free areas (Supplied, Lyneah Watson-Grusie)

Watson-Grusie explains the current wildfire situation has given the push to make the change as the baseball diamonds have no irrigation, and with the lack of moisture the region has seen over the past couple of years the concern about someone unintentionally starting a fire with their cigarette is a real one. She adds litter is another concern that comes with smoking because while some people will take their cigarette butt with them, some just leave it for the grounds crew to clean up.

“Everywhere you go in the world now it is designated smoking areas, and while we haven’t provided a designated smoking area, we are trying to encompass a designated no smoking area, and that will include all of our diamonds.”

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“We are a children’s facility and I think people need to respect the clean air policies around children in general,” she adds, “not just their own but other people’s children and that is what we are looking out for is the wellbeing of all of them.”

Watson-Grusie says the tobacco and smoke-free policy will be for the league’s 12 diamonds, and signage has been put up in these areas.

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