Leicester Tigers legend, Neil Back, swapped the oval ball for a round one on Friday night (10th January), as part of his support for Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust’s (LPT) new stop smoking campaign.
Back attended Leicester City’s 4-1 victory over East Midlands rivals Derby County at King Power Stadium, meeting supporters prior to kick-off who were keen to stop smoking in 2014, lending a helping hand to smoking advisors and volunteers by finding out more about the help that is on offer to people looking to quit
The 2003 World Cup winner is one of seven Leicestershire sports names backing the LPT Stop Smoking Service’s ‘Balls to Stop’ campaign, which is utilising the sports stars’ profile within the region to promote the stop smoking support available from the service.
At half-time, Neil joined Leicester City club ambassador, Alan Birchenall, on the pitch to talk about the ‘Balls to Stop’ campaign, which is also being backed by the Foxes’ Andy King, Leicestershire CCC batsman Josh Cobb, cricket commentator Jonathan Agnew, Leicester Riders forward Jamell Anderson, Leicester Hockey’s Nicola White and boxing star Rendall Munroe.
“It’s been a pleasure to support ‘Balls to Stop’ and it was fantastic meeting with Leicester City fans who are keen to stop smoking, many of whom signed up for support at the game.
“If you want to be the best you can possibly be, especially in a sporting environment, you need to look after your lifestyle and nutrition – and smoking is detrimental to performance.
“As a coach in an elite environment, we’d encourage you not to smoke and that’s what this campaign is all about. I think that the Stop Smoking Service advisors are providing a fantastic service. Through their website, there is a clear direction of who you need to speak to and what they will do to help you stop smoking. So, the first stop would be to visit the website and then have the ‘balls’ to see it through.”