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Balance backs North East youth teams ahead of World Cup

Balance is urging for time to be called on alcohol sports sponsorship as millions of children will be exposed to alcohol adverts during the World Cup.

Coinciding with the start of the FIFA 2018 World Cup, Balance is highlighting the damaging influence that alcohol marketing and sports sponsorship can have on children and young people.

To kick off the campaign and to help local sports clubs working to give North East children the best start to a healthy active life, Balance has sponsored team kits for Bishop Auckland St Mary’s Juniors Under 10s, Forest Hall YPC Under 15s, and Acklam FC Under 9s.

During the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament, researchers found there were more than 100 alcohol marketing messages per televised match in the UK, France and Ireland. And research shows that exposure to alcohol marketing encourages children to drink at an earlier age and in greater quantities than they otherwise would.

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “The World Cup is not only a celebration of football, but also a festival of alcohol advertising by big alcohol brands on TV and social media. The event will be watched by millions of children and young people who will be exposed to these adverts. We believe they should be able to watch their sport without being constantly exposed to alcohol marketing.

“We’re proud to be able to sponsor team kits for Bishop Auckland St Mary’s Juniors Under 10’s, Forest Hall YPC Under 15s and Acklam FC Under 9s. These clubs have contributed to nurturing the talents of young people in the North East for years. It’s important for sports clubs such as this to engage children in sport and encourage them to live healthy, happy lives.”

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