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Goalkeepers support quarry safety campaign

SOME of the Premier League’s top goalkeepers have thrown their ‘safe hands’ behind the Mineral Products Association’s latest campaign to stop children and teenagers being hurt in the UK’s quarries.

With warm weather and the summer holidays approaching, the MPA is concerned that teenagers could be tempted to enter their local quarry. To help prevent this, the Association has this week launched its annual ‘Stay Safe’ campaign.

Portsmouth and England goalkeeper David James, one of the keepers backing the campaign, has urged children to stay safe this summer by staying out of quarries and using a local swimming pool, leisure centre or recreation ground instead.


He is joined by Hull’s Boaz Myhill, Wigan’s Chris Kirkland and Bolton’s Jussi Jaaskelainen, and the industry hopes that by fielding a team made up of some of the safest pairs of hands in the country, it will achieve a nil-nil result –– no deaths and no injuries to young people in its quarries.

The importance of the campaign was brought home by the recent death of a teenager in Warwickshire. Last month, 18-year-old Jay Harris fell to his death in a disused quarry near Nuneaton, and two of his friends who had gone to his aid had to be treated for early-stage hypothermia.

MPA chairman Lynda Chase-Gardener said: ‘The case of Jay is a tragic example of why every year we appeal to young people, and to the parents and teachers who influence them, to heed the warning that quarries are not places for fun.’

Although the industry has worked hard to deter trespassers by fencing off quarries, erecting warning signs and working with schools and youth groups to educate young people about the hazards, the MPA’s 2009 survey of quarry managers showed that nearly 60% of respondents had experienced problems with trespassers over the past 12 months.

The survey also revealed that while teenage trespass was of most concern, it was adults who were the worst offenders. ‘Very often it is adults who cut holes in fences through which young people enter. This is not only illegal, it’s highly irresponsible and dangerous,’ said Mrs Chase-Gardener.

The MPA’s latest poster campaign featuring some of the Premier League’s safest hands asks anyone thinking of entering a quarry to follow the message: ‘Stay safe…stay out’.


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