Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport and Minister for Women and Equalities visited Dorset last week. At the request of Michael Tomlinson, Prospective parliamentary candidate for Mid Dorset and North Poole, she was shown around the Hamworthy Club, Canford Magna, where Michael plays cricket. Maria was introduced to members of both the Hamworthy Club and the Dorset Dockers Rugby Football Club.
Maria met with Tim Flower, who co-founded Dorset Dockers and members of the club to discuss problem gambling and addictions more widely, as well as the potential for sport to help confront and tackle these problems.
Michael Tomlinson said: “Tim Flower had raised with me his concerns about fixed odds betting machines, and I set up a meeting to enable him and members of his club to raise their concerns with the Secretary of State.”
Tim Flower said: “Everyone makes mistakes and this can result in addictions forming, but being able to fall back on something solid like a rugby club is vital to prevent those mistakes becoming life changing”.
Maria Miller confirmed that there is a review ongoing in relation to gambling and that the concerns raised at the meeting at the Hamworthy Club would be fed in to that process.
Maria added: “It was fascinating to hear how the rugby club is offering a second chance to people who may have experienced problems in the past, demonstrating the tremendous potential for sport to change lives for the better.”