Page last updated at 05:44 GMT, Thursday, 20 May 2010 06:44 UK

Andy Powell in talks with anti-drink drive charity

Andy Powell at court in March
Andy Powell appeared in court in March

Managers representing Wales rugby star Andy Powell are talking to an anti-drink drive charity about helping to raise awareness of its work.

Powell, from Brecon, Powys, was banned from the road for 15 months in March after driving a golf buggy while drunk.

The Campaign Against Drinking and Driving (CADD) said it wanted Powell to stage a benefit match for the charity, but plans are still under discussion.

Powell has been recalled by Wales for Tests in June after being dropped.

CADD criticised Powys council last month after it gave the player an award for putting the county "on the map".

The local authority recognised the Wales and Cardiff Blues star for his "special achievements" on the pitch at an evening for young achievers in the county. The council said his conviction was not ignored during the event.

We have been talking to CADD about ways that Andy can work with them to help raise awareness of the great work they do
Emanuele Palladino from Powell's management company, Distinct

Emanuele Palladino from Powell's management company, Distinct, said the rugby player was keen to put the golf buggy incident behind him, but there was an opportunity to turn his actions into something positive.

Mr Palladino said: "We have been talking to CADD about ways that Andy can work with them to help raise awareness of the great work they do.

"Whilst Andy is keen to put his golf buggy incident in the past and focus on his rugby, which is of course what he is known for, he realises that there needs to be recognition of the seriousness of what he did, and given his high profile he has a great opportunity do that, and to turn his actions into something really positive."

CADD said Powell had an opportunity to change things not only for himself, but for those affected by drink drivers.

Its chair Carole Whittingham said she had spoken to Mr Palladino about various ideas. She favours a fundraising rugby match which could help fund CADD's charity work.

Mrs Whittingham added: "We welcome Andy's interest. We would love to take him into a school to discuss the seriousness of what he did. We're visiting 17 schools between now and mid-July.

"But we would like him to go further and organise a fundraising match where people would pay to get in, and we could pass buckets around the crowd. We did something similar with Bradford Bulls (rugby league team) a few years ago."

Ban

Mrs Whittingham said CADD visited dozens of schools every year promoting road safety and the dangers of drinking and driving.

It also provides counselling, free legal advice and sends out information booklets.

Mrs Whittingham said CADD also worked with the armed forces.

Powell was arrested at services at junction 33 of the M4 near the Wales team hotel in the Vale of Glamorgan in February.

He pleaded guilty before Cardiff magistrates and as well as the ban, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

The golf buggy had been taken from the Vale Hotel, Golf and Spa Resort, where team members stayed before and after Wales' Six Nations match against Scotland.

He was later dropped from the Wales squad.



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SEE ALSO
Powell 'deserves second chance'
17 May 10 |  Welsh
Drink-drive player award 'wrong'
28 Apr 10 |  Mid Wales
Powell admits 'golf buggy' charge
02 Mar 10 |  Wales
Powell regret over 'stupid prank'
24 Feb 10 |  Welsh
Powell removed from Wales squad
15 Feb 10 |  Welsh

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