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Issue:- 15 November  2012

Widnes Vikings announce exciting working partnership with Workington Town

THE Vikings on Wednesday, 14 November 2012, have announce an exciting working partnership with Championship side, Workington Town. Following the recent news that both the Under 20s and Under 18s competitions will be shelved for a new Under 19s league from 2013, the club has acted accordingly to ensure it continues to deliver the best possible systems and processes. The new link-up will see up to five dual registered or loan players from the Vikings set-up given the opportunity to prove themselves further and play for Workington and aid their development in a competitive environment. Aside of the player exchange benefits, both clubs are also set to gain from increased brand exposure through the extended marketing opportunity this joining of forces has created. From both a performance and commercial point of view, this can only be beneficial to all concerned. The partnership will begin with immediate effect though player movement will not commence until the 2013 season.  Founded in 1945, and playing their home games at Derwent Park since 1956, Workington Town have enjoyed a rollercoaster existence in professional rugby league. From the highs of their early days which included a Challenge Cup success in 1951/52, to the occasional low over the years, the club has always retained its competitive edge and is confident the good times will eventually return to West Cumbria. In 1996, Workington Town were a member club of the inaugural Super League competition. Following their promotion from Championship 1, they will be competing in the Championship in 2013. 

Commenting on the link-up, Vikings CEO James Rule said:- "We are very excited by the potential of this partnership. In addition to the obvious on field benefits for both clubs we also have an opportunity to grow our respective audiences and share best practice from our operations. We look forward to working with Workington to develop this partnership."

Equally as enthusiastic, is Vikings' Head Coach Denis Betts, who added:- "It is great to be involved with a team that is growing. Workington Town are a famous old club with plenty of history and have recently secured promotion into the Championship. They are now building on this and working hard to ensure they become an even stronger force in 2013. Alongside the talent already within their ranks, I've no doubt that the inclusion of some of our players will be just what they are looking for. Historically, Workington are keen on producing local players and I'm really looking forward to strengthening our links within Cumbria and helping them progress this even further."

Delighted to join forces with the Vikings, Workington Town Chairman David Bowden commented:- "We are thrilled to strike up an exciting new partnership with the Widnes Vikings for our return to the Championship. The more formal restructuring of the relationships between Championship and Super League clubs meant it was critical we have a practical link up that will help both clubs. Our initial discussions couldn't really have gone any better with Denis Betts and James Rule outlining their thoughts which were a virtual match to the way we see things. The most obvious advantage is that the players from Widnes' first team squad will be available to play for Town and develop their skills in the Championship. In return there is also a development route to ensure our local players can develop their rugby league careers, and at the highest level of the game in this country. But there will be many areas of best practice we can share and we are all looking forward at Workington to working hard to make the partnership the success I'm certain it will be."

Proposed duties on unhealthy foods welcomed by charity

THE British Dental Health Foundation on Wednesday, 14 November 2012, has welcomed the proposal to apply taxes to unhealthy foods that could result in oral health improvements across the UK. According to the National Heart Forum (NHF), new duties on foods known to be unhealthy should form part of public health policies that can tackle growing obesity in the UK along with a number of other diet-related illnesses, one of which is dental decay. In the report, the NHF recommends the introduction of duties on sugary soft drinks to reduce consumption levels and raise money to support public health programmes or subsidise the cost of healthier foods. Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, welcomed the report and believes change is necessary to aid the improvement of oral health in the UK. Dr Carter said:- "The Foundation welcomes this report and the recommendations it puts forward. "The report is particularly pleasing as one of the Foundation's three key messages is 'cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks'. By proposing the introduction of a duty on sugary drinks there will be an inevitable reduction in consumption and benefits for both general and dental health. The increase in consumption of sugary drinks is one of the key reasons for dental decay, particularly in children. Any measure which helps reduce how often our teeth are exposed to sugary foods and drinks is to be welcomed. As a nation we have turned from three square meals a day to seven to ten snack attacks including constantly sipping sugary drinks and this may be one reason why improvements in dental health have been slowing down. The cost of poor diet has a profound effect on our health. In the UK over 60 per cent of adults are overweight or obese. This is contributing to a growing social and economic burden of chronic disease including cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes, both of which have also been linked to poor oral health. Poor oral health is of great concern, not least due to the growing number of general health conditions it has been linked to. Implementation of the recommendations in the report could lead to oral health benefits for generations to come."

Spirit of Christmas Past at Croxteth Hall Market

THE 1st of this year's Christmas markets at Croxteth Hall takes place on Sunday, 18 November 2012. The markets take place inside historic Croxteth Hall, which will be decorated in traditional style for the event, meaning visitors can enjoy the spirit of Christmas past while taking the opportunity to find some unusual gifts. Stalls will be selling handmade Christmas cards, gift wrapping paper, jewellery, purses,handmade crafts, scented candles, traditional sweets, fashion accessories, flower arrangements and much more. And for those who appreciate a roaring fire at Christmas, hardwood logs, harvested from the Park's woodland, will also be on sale. Councillor Peter Mitchell, Mayoral lead on Parks said that:- "These markets are very popular and they are a very important part of a great programme of Christmas event at Croxteth Hall. With the Hall being decorated in traditional style you get a real feel of a Victorian Christmas as well as being able to pick up some bargains." The market is open between:- 10.30am and 4pm. Admission is £2.40 for adults, concessions 90p. Parking is free.

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