Authorities launch anti-drugs campaign in sports clubs

Young sports enthusiasts are being encouraged to stay away from drugs Keystone

The federal authorities and sports associations have launched a new campaign aimed at encouraging teenagers in sports clubs to stay away from drugs, including alcohol and cannabis.

This content was published on July 11, 2000 minutes

The SFr2.3 million campaign is targeted at the 900,000 young people who belong to sports clubs in Switzerland. The Federal Health and Sports Offices and the National Olympic Federation are planning various activities to tackle drug abuse among youngsters, in particular in football and snow boarding.

Heinz Keller, from the Federal Sports Office, said trainers have a key role in the campaign: "Sports coaches are often role models for young people."

He added that drugs prevention was likely to be successful if it can use coaches to spread the message.

For Thomas Zeltner, director of the Federal Health Office, sports are an ideal training ground for young people: "They learn how to deal with frustration and success. And we want to show them that it can be done without using drugs."

Zeltner said Swiss youths were not more prone to drugs than young people elsewhere, but he pointed out that " alcohol and tobacco consumption is high in Switzerland".

The campaign, called "LaOla", is to run for four years, and will focus on information, counselling and other projects. Four national sports organisations have so far agreed to co-operate in the campaign. And the organisers say they hope that list will soon also include the Football and the Ice-hockey Association, two of the most popular sports in Switzerland.

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