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West Wales squad finish first

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On your marks: The squad from West Wales came first in their match

On your marks: The squad from West Wales came first in their match

FOR THE FIRST time in a number of years, west Wales Region Athletics on Sunday (Jun 26) hosted one of the top U17/20 UK athletics events of the year for junior athletes across the United Kingdom – the Young Development League.

The West Division Premier Match arrived in Carmarthen and welcomed five strong teams in opposition from Cardiff, SE Wales, Yeovil Olympiads and Wells City Harriers, along with composite teams from SW England in Avon and Devon.

It promised to be a fine spectacle of Premier League Junior athletics, and the athletes involved did not disappoint.

The weather might have been a bit miserable throughout, however the action on the track was thick and fast in difficult conditions. On the day, Carmarthen, Pembrokeshire, Neath, Llanelli and Sarn Helen athletes made home advantage count as a good team performance from athletes and team managers to supporters and friends resulted in the West Wales squad finishing first in match three.

It’s all to play for in the final fixture at Yate in July, where they will be looking to retain their place in the top division for next year.

First: West Wales 671; Second: Cardiff AAC 648; Third: Team Avon 628; Fourth: Team DC 626; Fifth: Yeovil & Wells City H 304; Sixth: South East Wales 242.

21 Carmarthen Harriers members were part of the 65 athlete West Wales Team in Johnstown: Dwayne Griffiths 400 54.32 800 2.09.33; Ryan Jenkins 800 2.08.66 1500 4.14.58 110H 23.01; Sam Bleach JT 45.82; William Edwards HJ 1.85; Zak Daly 200 24.74; Iestyn Williams 1500 4.27.47; Callum Lovatt 1500 4.54.03; Haydn Davies 100H 15.42; Ben Thomas 1500S/C 4.41.62; Trystan Leech 1500S/C 5.12.78; Joe Worrall DT 41.11 SP 12.85; Nicholas Jones HT 26.91; Rhys Thomas HT 22.24; Megan Rowe 400 1.07.56; Celyn Williams 200 26.84; Non Morgan 800 2.34.85; Danielle Jones JT 19.33 SP 11.49 DT 32.90; Lauryn Davey SP 8.53 LJ 5.11; Alicia Samuel 100 12.94 LJ 4.72; Amy Evans JT 29.66; Amelia Davey HJ 1.45

Of the Under 17s athletes, Thomas Jones and Ellie Kiff travelled out to the Czech Republic after being selected to represent Wales in Janske Lanske at the World Youth Cup Mountain Championships, which was an uphill only 2.6 k and 4.7 k for the boys and girls at the 11th instalment. 16 Nations from across the world were participating, featuring 55 girls and 64 boys. Thomas finished 42nd while Ellie came 46th. Coach Delyth Brown was one of the team managers. Wales were 10th and 11th in the team competition respectively in the gruelling heat. At the Welsh Schools Combined Events in Swansea, Olwen Batten won team bronze in the Under 15 girls category. Dyfed Schools won 10 medals including team gold in the boys Under 15s.

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Wales v Scotland postponed

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WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.

The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.

A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.

“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.

“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.

“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”

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Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended

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THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales has today (13 March) taken the decision to suspend domestic football at all levels in Wales with immediate effect until April 4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The intention at this time will be to resume the football schedule depending on the medical advice and conditions from the relevant authorities at that time.

The FAW is fully aware of the impact this will have on the domestic game but the health and safety of all fans, players, volunteers and stakeholders are of paramount importance.

The FAW will continue to monitor this situation on a day-by-day basis and will continue to provide updates when appropriate.

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Exercise Referral Scheme doing more for health intervention than ever before

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A record 35,069 participants attended Exercise Referral classes during 2640 hours of health classes in 2019.

The National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS) is an evidence-based health intervention scheme which incorporates physical activity and behavioural change techniques to support referred clients to make lifestyle changes to improve their health and well-being.

NERS Ceredigion has seen a dramatic increase in demand over the past year. A coordinator and four full time exercise professionals work to deliver the scheme, delivering 73 classes per week. The age of participants range from 16 years old, with the eldest participant in Ceredigion being 95.

Exercise class options include Gym, Circuit, Postural Stability (seated), Spin Bikes, Aqua Aerobics, Tai Chi and Pilates. Venues include council and community centres in Aberystwyth, Aberaeron, Lampeter, Tregaron, Cardigan and Llandysul.

Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet member with responsibility for Leisure, highlighted the benefits of the scheme, “There are many physical, psychological and social benefits to being part of the scheme, including confidence-building, better self-esteem, meeting new people and being generally fitter and healthier. Ceredigion Actif’s highly qualified Health Intervention Team provide opportunities to exercise that are fun, rewarding and that can be incorporated into everyday life.”

NERS Ceredigion targets people with a medical condition through various pathways including generic, cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary, PSI falls, stroke rehabilitation, mental health, cancer and weight management. The 16 week tailored programme of exercise is delivered by a team of specialist Level 4 qualified exercise professionals who guide referred participants towards realising their individual goals.

A participant in Aberystwyth said, “This has been the best thing I have ever done. I have thrived from doing different activities and pushing myself out of my comfort zone which has not only helped my self-esteem but also my depression and everything else including my pain. I have also made new friends which I didn’t even consider would happen and we’re not only being social but we’re having fun too which is a bonus”.

There is ongoing monitoring from the instructors with follow up assessments at 16 weeks as well as on completion at 52 weeks. Long-term ‘maintenance’ options are available post 16 weeks which include the continuation of exercise classes as well as opportunities to join clubs such as walking basketball, walking football, golf sessions and walking rugby.

During 2018-2019 there were 913 referrals to the scheme. To gain access to the scheme, a person needs to be referred by a Health Professional, usually a GP, Practice Nurse or a condition specific Physiotherapist.

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