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Take Alcohol Advertising out of Sport. What is in a t-shirt?

SAAPA and the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education in Australia (FARE) have joined forces in the campaign for sports to be free from alcohol advertising. Supporters will be wearing t-shirts that call for ‘No alcohol adverts in sport!’ at Newlands cricket ground this weekend during the South Africa v’s Australia cricket.

“So, why attend the game wearing a t-shirt?” asks SAAPA Coordinator, Aadielah Maker Diedericks. “Marketers will say it is a way to get your message across, to advertise and create loyalty, and we feel strongly that the message to ban alcohol advertising during sport is important to send out.”

Drinking amongst young people in South Africa is a national crisis. Problem drinking at Universities around the country range from 30 to 70%. In South Africa, researchers found that 12% of under 12 year olds have drunk alcohol and 25 % of under 19 year olds are binge drinking.

“There is strong evidence that exposing children to alcohol ads is associated with early drinking initiation and binge drinking amongst young people. And we are not alone, this is a global problem. We are pleased to have the support of FARE during this campaign,” says Aadielah Maker Diedricks.

The South African Alcohol Policy Alliance in partnership with FARE in Australia has initiated a national campaign to highlight the need for taking the advertising of alcohol and other health-harming products out of sport.

Why is SAAPA and FARE calling for this?

  • Participation in sports, especially amongst children and young people is critical for the future health of citizens. A healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity is one of the key international recommendations to deal with the challenge of the global non-communicable diseases like cancer, high blood pressure, obesity and heart problems caused by alcohol, tobacco and products with high sugar, salt and fat content.
  • But at the same time, we find that sports events are sites for massive advertising of health-harming products, particularly alcohol.  Advertising and sponsorship of sport is one of the major ways of reaching young people. In a recent study the SAMRC found that 77.5% of young people who reported drinking in the last 6 months have previously seen alcohol advertised through sport. International reviews consistently show an association between exposure to alcohol advertising and earlier onset of drinking and increased risk of binge drinking amongst children.
  • Taking alcohol adverts out of sport is one way of creating an environment for healthier habits.  Yet the alcohol industry has publically stated that they want to grow their market amongst young people in Africa.
  • We need to keep sport free from harmful products so that children and young people develop healthy habits. We need to reduce the age at when children start drinking and how much they are drinking.

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) is an independent, not-for-profit working to stop alcohol harm in Australia.

Join SAAPA and FARE to get alcohol advertising out of sport. Sign the petition at www.boozefreesport.org.au

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