Cougars join national anti-drugs campaign

Championship 1 club Keighley Cougars has made a significant contribution to a national anti-drugs campaign.

The Cougars have not only endorsed the ‘National Tackling Drugs Week ‘but they provided their try-scoring stand off ace Jon Presley to head up the campaign for the club in Bradford and Aire Valley districts.

And, who better to tackle a big problem than a Rugby League star that spends half his time tackling opponents who are mostly bigger than him!

Jon went into action by making an impact on a specially branded tackle bag supported by Chief Superintendent Allan Doherty, West Yorkshire Police’s Divisional Commander for Airedale and North Bradford, and Keighley Neighbourhood Policing Team Inspector Wayne Horner.

Jon said: “Rugby League has a reputation for being a family-orientated sport and drugs have no place either in our game, or our community.

“As a professional athlete I spend a great deal of time looking after my health and well being and I simply wouldn’t put myself at risk by taking drugs.

“My advice to all young people is to say ‘no’ to drugs and look after their health.”

Helen Carter, the Keighley Cougars General Manager, said: “We were delighted when the Bradford District Safer Communities Partnership asked whether we would be prepared to support ‘National Tackling Drugs Week’.

“Our club is delivering major community programmes within Keighley and surrounding districts and an important part of our message is encouraging young people to adopt a healthy life-style.

“That fits perfectly with what the ‘National Tackling Drugs Week’ campaign is trying to achieve so it was wonderful to take part”.

National Tackling Drugs Week ran from Monday, June 8 until Friday, June 12 and it was launched by Home Office Minister Alan Campbell. The week-long programme saw a range of partners, including drug treatment agencies, local authority, voluntary substance misuse workers, police and community groups highlighting the work they do in the field.

They work, in conjunction with police enforcement activities, to rid drugs from our communities by identifying and prosecuting dealers; educating our young people on the harm caused by drugs and focus on supporting individuals and their families affected by drug use.  

Campbell said: “National Tackling Drugs Week is about highlighting and promoting the work that goes on throughout the year in communities to reduce the harm caused by illegal substances.

“I want to thank those who go that extra mile to tackle drug use, work tirelessly to bring to justice dealers who blight our communities, educate youngsters about the dangers of drugs and support for friends and family of drug misusers in order secure a positive future. I know that this work is making our communities safer and happier places in which to live and work”.

Chief Superintendent Doherty said: “I am delighted that Keighley Cougars have offered their support towards National Tackling Drugs Week.

“Young people are particularly vulnerable to illegal drugs and it is important that we offer up positive role models who represent a clear and healthy lifestyle as a means to success. This sort of message helps us to prevent young people from trying out drugs.

“This is just one of the strands the Police and other partners use in the fight against the dangers of illegal drugs. This week will also see significant work around the other three strands of education, treatment and enforcement.”

Councillor Martin Smith, Executive Member for Bradford District Safer Communities Partnership said: “We are delighted that Jon Presley from the Cougars has come forward to support National Tackling Drugs Week.

“Prevention, enforcement and treatment are all important strands in reducing drugs and the associated crime which blights some of our communities.

“Bradford District Safer Communities Partnership is working very hard to deliver joined-up solutions to this complex and enduring problem, however everyone has a part to play.

“If you suspect anyone of drug dealing, please call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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