By Julie Russell RN,
Tobacco Prevention Specialist
Thanks to the diligent work of the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program (MTUPP) and the Montana High School Rodeo Association (MHSRA), Montana was the 1st state in the nation to have a Tobacco-Free Rodeo! MTUPP and MHSRA partnered in 2008, to prove that they have taken a stand and continue to speak out about “Tobacco having no place in our Montana High School Rodeos!”
Every year, students who participate in the Tobacco Free Rodeo Series Rodeo’s and on Friday, June 9 during the Montana State High School Rodeo Finals, “Pledge to Wear Red” to show their support for being tobacco-free rodeo athletes. We honor and support all the great athletes who have made the decision to be free of tobacco and its deadly influence.
“We take risks every day, but we need to stop and think about what we are doing, and is it work the risk? For those of you competing in Rodeo, it is worth the risk, to dedicate yourself to all the practice, long hours, long miles, and keeping yourself and your horses in shape to compete at the highest level. Tobacco however, is NOT worth the risk of even trying it once, nothing good will ever come out of using tobacco products.” Wally Badgett, MCC Rodeo Coach, guest speaker at the 2016 Montana State High School Rodeo Finals.
MTUPP has given more than $121,000.00 in college scholarships since the partnership began in 2008. For the 2016-17 Rodeo year, six finalists have been chosen and each will interview during the State Finals. The Scholarship Awards will be as follows: 2 – $2,500.00, 2 – $1,000.00, and 2 – $ 500.00.
So come out and support your community and the Student Athletes competing at the High School Rodeo Finals. Friday, June 9th is PLEDGE TO WEAR RED DAY!! Let’s fill the stands with RED to say no to tobacco and YES to TOBACCO FREE RODEO!!!