Cougars to kick off Alcohol Awareness Week!
Keighley Cougars Head Coach Barry Eaton will be drinking on the job all in aid of making people aware of how even a small amount of alcohol can affect your personal performance and reactions.
Eaton, who led the Cougars to a Co-operative Championship One Grand Final victory over Oldham ten days ago, will be putting on his kicking boots to take part in a drink-drive style demonstration.
Barry will be asked to kick five goals before he has taken a drink. He will then be given a strong alcoholic drink and asked to kick five more goals. This will be done several times in a short space of time to find out whether it has a detrimental effect on his kicking accuracy.
And to ensure that there is fair play a Doctor from Holycroft Surgery on Oakworth Road will be on hand to supervise the experiment.
Besides which there’s going to be a high powered audience on hand to give the Alcohol Awareness Week a great send off.
Visiting Cougar Park to watch Eaton’s kicking trial will be Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe, the MP for Bradford South, Chief Superintendent Allan Doherty the Police Commander for Bradford North and Airedale and Councillor Glen Miller, the Chairman of Bradford District Council’s Keighley Area Committee.
Eaton said: “Like so many other people I enjoy having a beer when I’m relaxing but as a professional sportsman I’ve always been very aware that it can affect my reactions.
“It’ll be very interesting to see what happens when you have three or four drinks which aren’t very much by some peoples’ standards. I’m expecting that it will make it far more difficult for me to hit the target.”
It’ll be a real test for Eaton who is a Rugby League world record holder. In 2003 when he played for Batley Bulldogs, he landed 38 successive kicks on target – and the record still stands unchallenged. So accuracy matters to Barry!
Helen Carter, the Cougars’ General Manager, said: “We are very keen to support this campaign because it sends all the right messages to the community, especially the young people.
“We want everybody to become more conscious of how many alcoholic units there are in each of the drinks we buy in pubs, restaurants and at super markets as well as what effect even one or two drinks can have. So, we’re delighted to help launch the Alcohol Awareness week in partnership with the National Health Service, the Primary Care Trust, Bradford District Safer Communities Partnership; West Yorkshire Police, Trading Standards and other sports and leisure organisations”.
Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe MP said: “The message is that sports performance and alcohol don’t mix, whatever level you’re playing at. Although this is a fun experiment, it is a good way of getting across to people the need to drink at sensible and safe levels and just how much drinking can affect your performance and behaviour.”
Chief Superintendent Allan Doherty said: “Even small amounts of alcohol can have a huge impact on reaction times. In sport this can mean the difference between winning and losing. In a car it can be the difference between life and death."
Councillor Glen Miller said: “Drink is having a devastating and wide-reaching impact on some communities and we encourage all drinkers to take some time to ‘rethink your drink’. Drinking too much can result in you losing your job, your license, your health and in extreme cases, your life.
“Bradford Council and our partners are committed to doing everything we can to reduce drink related harm. Education, prevention, regulation, enforcement and rehabilitation are all important parts of the solution.”
To underline the campaign’s objects West Yorkshire Police will also be in attendance and they will breathalyse Eaton at regular intervals to check the levels of alcohol in his blood stream! He could even find himself arrested for being in charge of a Rugby ball!
But, rest assured, the Cougars are fully on message because Barry will be leaving his car at home on Friday and a member of the Cougars staff will be driving him back at the end of the experiment.