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Powerlifting champion backs heart disease campaign

Powerlifting champion Mike Baxter Credit: County Durham Sport

Former powerlifting champion Mike Baxter has joined a health campaign in County Durham which aims to tackle heart disease and diabetes.

Mike Baxter was the reigning British Police Powerlifting Champion for seven years and represented his country at the 1999 World Championship.

And now, the power-lifter is encouraging people to take up badminton as part of a country-wide Move in to Sport programme which aims to tackle cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes through exercise and is offering special beginners classes to people looking to improve their health and fitness from just £2 a session.

Mike Baxter competing in 1997 Credit: County Durham Sport

When I stopped powerlifting, my weight ballooned, I went from training in the gym five to six times a week to doing almost no exercise for 10 years. I became a complete couch potato.

I’d played badminton in my teens, but never thought of taking it up again until I went along with my son to the Durham Swifts meeting as he was interested in joining. I ended up coming out as the chairman.

– Mike Baxter

The 12 week adult beginner course with the Durham Swifts takes place on a Wednesday evening from 6pm-7pm at Framwellgate School, Durham.

To find out more about courses on offer including table tennis, rowing, climbing, cycling, running, swimming and golf visit

Durham Swifts Badminton Club Credit: Sport in County Durham


Charity says racist abuse still widespread

The charity Show Racism the Red Card says it's sadly not surprised at the racist abuse suffered by Sol Campbell.

It works in communities to address the issue among young people and says education is key to changing how people act.

One of the things it's important to recognise is that anybody is capable of exhibiting prejudice. It's something that is almost human nature to people and it's how we deal with that and what we do when we feel that prejudice.

– James Kingett, Show Racism the Red Card


Pardew: What the papers say

Today's papers Credit: ITV

The Chronicle - Lee Ryder - Alan Pardew's only quick exit from Newcastle United would be to resign from and wave goodbye to a compensation package.

The Mirror - Simon Bird - The Toon Army are furious and the form since last December is that of a side on its way to relegation, but Ashley's axe probably won't fall any time soon.

The Telegraph - Luke Edwards - Ashley to defy supporters and give Pardew until Christmas to turn club around despite dismal defeat at Southampton.

The Guardian - Louise Taylor- Alan Pardew is expected to still be in charge of Newcastle United when Hull City visit St James’ Park on Saturday. Although defeat against Steve Bruce’s side would effectively make Pardew’s position untenable, Ashley, is famously impervious to supporter opinion.

Exclusive: Sol Campbell on racist abuse he experienced in Hexham

Sol Campbell Credit: ITV

Former England footballer Sol Campbell has spoken publicly for the first time about being racially abused in Hexham. In an exclusive interview, the former Arsenal and Newcastle defender told ITV News Tyne Tees about a confrontation with a man who commented on the colour of his skin. The star, who now lives in Northumberland, says he has reported it to the police.

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