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THE HERALD FRIDAY JANUARY 27 2017


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REBECCA EVANS, Minister for


Social Services and Public Health, has spoken out about a culture of image and performance enhancing drug (IPED) misuse that is threatening to damage the health of a generation. Addressing a symposium at the


with Manager Peter Tiffin WITH THE BOYS back in


training preparing for their first couple of games in February, I thought there would be no greater time than now to catch up with our head coach, Jon Ellis, and see what his thoughts are for this season both on and off the field. Most weeks, Jon and I try to have


one day a week where we make sure that we concentrate on only Raiders’ work, so this week we decided to add a short 30 minute slot on our calendar where we caught up on proceedings at the Raiders through the eyes of our experienced head coach. Petter Tiffin: "How is preseason


going, Jon?" Jon Ellis: "It’s going good. We


have had some really intense sessions; our skill-based sessions have been helped massively by the use of the Scarlets' Barn, enabling me to concentrate solely on important key areas of our game. The fitness sessions in our partnered gym, Robert Davies Gym, have been really brutal, as have the cross fit sessions at another one of our partnered fitness centres." PT: "Are there many new faces at the Raiders this year?" JE: "We had an open day at Parc


Y Scarlets with lots of new faces turning up of all age groups. It’s really encouraging and when they come they enjoy the physicality and high skill demands of rugby league. In addition, we have had a number of new partners come on board which helps with the promotional side of the game so, all in all, both on and off the field, we have had a high intake of new people coming on board." PT: "Having worked in


performance positions for both Wigan Warriors and Wales Rugby League, does playing rugby league help improve players' skills?" JE: "Without a doubt. The high


skill demand in rugby league - passing, tackling, running lines - is


transferable to rugby union. I find nearly all the children and adults who play rugby league for a season or more tend to go back to their rugby union clubs better all-round players. Rugby league is a high intensity collision sport that doesn't stop for 80 minutes and requires massive physical effort; players get fitter and make better decisions when playing rugby union from league as they can think tactically quicker because they are not as fatigued." PT: "What are your views on the


partnership between the Raiders and the Scarlets?" JE: "I think it’s great - what is not


to like?! It’s just the obvious thing to do; the staff we have been working with at the Scarlets have been brilliant, and it makes it easier travelling the 33 miles to work most days especially as the new Raiders office at the stadium has everything we need. I have also been invited to a couple of their home games and have really enjoyed the experience. I am thoroughly looking forward to seeing what else the partnership brings." PT: "Are you looking forward


to your first game against Chester Gladiators?" JE: "Massively so. I have been


coaching Swansea University so I have not missed much rugby league in the off season but the first game back for the Raiders is always something I look forward to." PT: "Since living in West Wales, what is your favourite place to visit?" JE: "Myself, the wife and children


love going to Barafundle Bay and having fish and chips at ‘The Shed’ in Porthgain." Keep an eye on this year’s results


as I will continue with the columns on a weekly basis. If you would like any more information on anything regarding the West Wales Raiders, please don't hesitate to contact me on petertiffin@raidersrugbyleague.co.uk.


CEREDIGION SNOOKER LEAGUE Division One


Penparcau B 10 10 0 Felindre


P W L 11 9 2


Llandysul A 10 6 4 Penparcau A 11 6 5 Aberaeron A 10 6 4 Aberaeron B 10 5 5 New Quay 11 3 8 Llandysul B 10 4 6 Rhydlewis A 11 2 9 Aberaeron D 10 1 9


Pts 73 61 59 55 51 47 40 34 28 20


Division Two Llanarth


Aberporth


P W L 9 7 2 8 5 3


Aberaeron C 9 4 5 Beulah


8 3 5


Rhydlewis B 8 4 4 Llandysul C 7 4 3 Llanon


Tregaron


7 2 5 8 3 5


www.ceredigionsnooker.org.uk


Pts 53 44 36 34 33 32 28 28


Principality Stadium in Cardiff, which brought together key partners committed to tackling the issue, Rebecca Evans said IPED-use is a growing problem – particularly in areas of South Wales. Many IPED users are young men


seeking to enhance their body image, or to improve their performance while participating in sport. Research in Wales shows that of


those accessing programmes for sterile injecting equipment for IPED use, 36% reported having started using IPEDs within the past three years – indicating an increase in usage. There are significant harms


associated with such use, including heart disease and liver damage, as well as those related to mental health, including increased aggression and depression. There is also the risk of infection from injecting drugs. Speaking ahead of the symposium,


Rebecca Evans said: “The use of IPEDs is not just a problem in sport - it is a wider societal issue. There are a worrying number of young people, especially men, purchasing and taking illicit substances for image reasons and some then participating in community sport.


“We must reverse this culture


of IPED use if we are to protect a generation of young people from the serious side effects they can cause. “That is why I am pleased so


many key partners are attending today’s symposium. Working in strong partnership with third sector, health, local government and sporting agencies, we can build on the good work already underway and tackle this issue head on.”


Public Health Wales has carried out


significant work to address the problem of IPEDs, including the development of the IPED website to provide information and harm reduction advice for those


Rebecca Evans: ‘The use of IPEDs is not just a problem in sport - it is a wider societal issue’


using or considering the use of IPEDs. Josie Smith, Head of Substance


Misuse for Public Health Wales, said: “Over the past 20 years, we have become aware of increasing numbers of people using IPEDs across a wide demographic. Changing culture and increasing emphasis on male physique, as well as availability of anabolic steroids, growth hormone and new peptides have led to substantial increases both in use but also potentially in perceived pressure to use these drugs. “It is vital that we ensure three


things: that people are well informed and can access accurate information; that no one feels pressure to use IPEDs in order to look a certain way or improve performance; and that anyone using or considering IPED use is able to access and engage with health and other services to address concerns and make informed choices.” Sport Wales is taking a zero-


tolerance approach to IPED misuse in sport. Brian Davies, Director of Elite Sport at Sport Wales, commented: “These are key issues for us because at the heart of sport is fair competition, where people know their responsibilities and compete clean from performance enhancing drugs. “Education, targeted testing and


sporting bans are all tools that have been used to ensure the integrity of sport.


“But it is important that we


understand the challenges being faced in our communities and the pressures of modern society, and we can only do this in partnership. “Now we can make another step


forward and amplify the need for people across Wales to be aware of these issues.” UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) is the


UK’s national anti-doping organisation working across over 50 Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth and professional sports to deter and detect doping in sport. Nicole Sapstead, UKAD Chief Executive, said: “UKAD continues to be concerned


about the number of young people who are turning to steroids for performance or cosmetic enhancement. “Not only is it a serious issue for


sport but it is becoming a serious issue for our society and a generation of young people. “Today’s symposium is a critical


part in combatting IPED use in Wales and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate and discuss the issue with a number of partners in Wales. “This is a positive step forward in


combatting this worrying trend as the use of IPEDs does not fall to one particular agency or organisation to solve. We all play our part in safeguarding the health of our young people.”


69 Sport Minister’s warning on steroid abuse


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