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Mountain bikers race to Coliseum

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A CROWD-FUNDED UK mountain biking film had its premiere Welsh screening in Aberystwyth on Saturday (Jul 30) and was a very big hit with mountain bikers and fitness fanatics alike. 

‘Mountain Biking – The Untold British Story’, was shown at the Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth at 7.30pm.

Shot and co-produced by Blue Hippo Media (the makers of Bafta Winning ‘Bicycle’) and in partnership with ‘Singletrack’ magazine, the documentary film tells the story of the early development of mountain biking from its early days of ‘fat tyre clunkers’ four decades ago, all the way to what people know of it today- a modern day success , especially for UK Mountain Bike athletes worldwide.

Mountain biking made its mark by beginning in the hills of the West Coast of the USA, and the documentary sets out to tell the story through archive footage of early XC racing all the way to the modern British scene of mountain biking.

The documentary is made even more spectacular by featuring clips and interviews with famous names in the biking industry such as Steve Peat, Dan Gee, Tracy Moseley, Rachel Atherton, Rob Warner, Gary Fisher, Jason Miles, Geoff Apps and many more. In addition, the contributions of the famous names portray how they have helped shaped mountain biking into a global phenomenon. Piers Linney, former Dragon on BBC Dragons Den and MTB enthusiast, also participates in the film as an Associate Producer.

Pi Piper, the Co-Director and Producer of the film, spoke to The Herald on the film’s success and how it has aimed to inspire future Mountain Bikers: “Blue hippo media is a film company that has been going for over ten years and has made several feature length films including multi award -winning ‘The Insatiable Moon ‘, a NZ story we produced with the producer of The Lord of the Rings in 2009. We also made the much acclaimed documentary ‘Last Shop Standing ‘.

“The film has been made over the past nine months and took us all over the UK. It is an untold story and features what we believe are key elements of the story told through people who were and are there. It has been received really well which is a relief!

“I think it inspires that getting out on a mountain bike whatever the terrain or for how long, racing or just taking it easy , is about freedom to have adventures in nature.

“The film is screening in several places across the UK but can be bought as a download from August 6 at vimeo. com/ondemand/mtbuntold . ”

Alice Briggs, Assistant Curator at The Ceredigion Museum, spoke to The Herald about the screening and how Ceredigion Museum was honoured to be hosting the event: “We had fifty people attend, and there was a short introduction from Joe Hayward of ‘Summit Cycles’ in Aberystwyth , as it was a partnership event and they are one of the Crowd Funding supporters , because it was an ‘Indiegogo’ Crowd Funded film. They wanted to screen it in Aberystwyth as one of the premieres across Wales because it’s not actually on general release until this week (Aug 6), so it was a good opportunity for us.

“People hung around to chat with one another after the screening but we did not have a Q&A on the night. Fifty people, for us at The Ceredigion Museum, is a nice size audience, because we don’t have a huge number of seats at the moment.

“We ran an ‘adventure film night’ with Travel Writer s Hannah Engelkamp and Rhys Thwaites Jones, who make adventure films locally , and they partner with us on a type of quarterly programme.

“Joe Hayward came to the last one, which was an American equivalent of ‘Mountain Biking – The Untold British Story’ focussing on one individual in the Californian history of mountain biking who disappeared. When he was here, he mentioned about the British History of mountain biking film and asked if we would be interested in screening it.

“They don’t have a partner in Aberystwyth at the moment, only in Coed y Brenin, but they were looking for somewhere to screen locally here. It works really well for us to have a nice partnership like that and it brings a different audience into the Museum.

“Since the Ceredigion Museum had a cinema screen re-installed a few months ago, the success will slowly come and the ‘Mountain Biking – The Untold British Story’ was one of the first screenings, so we are looking to get more offers and there is more potential for us to work in partnerships with people. We definitely would like to get the word out there.

“We’re really keen to diversify the audience that we get into film screenings and other events as well; that’s one of the exciting things about having the cinema screens back , definitely.”

“What we want to make sure of is that we’re not trading on the toes of other local film providers in the area – that we’re doing something different and unique. We do feel that we can offer something different and that coming to the old Coliseum isn’t just about coming to the cinema , but also for the atmosphere and experience.”

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Further delay to Universal Credit in Ceredigion

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BEN LAKE MP for Ceredigion has expressed his concerns following a recent announcement by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that the roll-out of the government’s controversial benefit payment, Universal Credit, will be fully rolled-out across Ceredigion in December 2018.

The payment, which is set to replace longstanding benefits such as Income Support, ESA and Working Tax Credits, had initially been set to become active in Ceredigion in September 2018, however recent documentation shows the date has now been moved back to December 2018.

Ben Lake MP has expressed his concern that a roll-out in December 2018 will hit families and vulnerable people at the most difficult time of year.

Ben Lake MP said: “I welcome the news that the UK Government have decided to delay the roll-out of Universal Credit in Ceredigion, I hope that this will allow the Government an opportunity to address and resolve many of the well-publicised issues associated with the payment. There have already been significant problems with the roll-out of the new regime in other areas, however, the proposed timing of December for its roll-out in Ceredigion is particularly problematic.

“With the Christmas celebrations, cold weather, and lengthy holiday periods, December can often be a difficult month financially for many families and individuals. I have significant concerns therefore that the full introduction of Universal Credit in Ceredigion will not only see claimants put under additional financial strain, but that it will coincide with a period when many of the support services available will be disrupted due to the festive holidays.”

“I have since written to the Department of Work and Pensions expressing such concerns.”

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Share experiences of sexual harassment to help police

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PEOPLE who have been subject to sexual harassment are encouraged to share their experiences to help understand the scale of the problem in communities across Wales.

Dyfed-Powys Police is taking part in a country-wide campaign, which urges anyone who has been subject to sexual harassment to say when and where the incident took place, as well as how it made them feel, anonymously through an online survey.

The results will be used to challenge and change the culture of misogyny and sexual harassment, so people can feel safe to live their lives without fear of harassment.

Dyfed-Powys Police Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis said: “Sexual harassment is simply unacceptable – it doesn’t matter who it comes from or where it happens, it should not be tolerated by anyone in society.

“We are committed to making sure everybody feels safe in their community, and has the freedom to make life choices without fear of sexual harassment. We want people to be able to access every area of society with confidence, from sports facilities and workplaces, to public transport or pubs and clubs.

“By taking part in this survey, you will help us to understand the scale of the problem in communities across Dyfed-Powys Police, which will enable us to listen to those affected by sexual harassment and to make a real difference in the future.”

To take part in the survey, visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SWPCOM

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Proposed salmon byelaws to be postponed until 2019

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NEW fishing byelaws have been proposed which will make it mandatory for fishermen to release all salmon caught in Welsh rivers.

The procedures for introducing new byelaws are protracted and Natural Resources Wales wishes to avoid uncertainty for fishermen by delaying implementation of approved new measures until the 2019 fishing season.

The proposed all Wales byelaws, which include restrictions on fishing methods to help the survival of released fish and reduced net fishing seasons, are currently being considered by Welsh Government.

Dave Mee, Senior Fisheries Advisor for NRW, said: “At the moment timescales for a decision are uncertain, so we are proposing that introduction of any new measures should be postponed until the beginning of the 2019 rod and net seasons.

“We hope this will help clarify the situation for anglers, netsmen, fishery owners and clubs and associations.”

Welsh salmon stocks remain in a perilous condition. Although the mandatory catch and release proposals have proved unpopular with anglers, NRW firmly believes that they, along with other measures such as tackling agricultural pollution, improving water quality and managing the potential threats from predators are vital for the future survival of these iconic fish.

Peter Gough, Principal Fisheries Advisor for NRW added: “This delay is a pragmatic solution to resolving current uncertainty.

“However, it is important to note that this does not mean there will be further debate on the subject as NRW has concluded its position and the case for further controls has been made and presented to Welsh Government and it remains unchanged.

“Protection of the breeding resources of these wonderful fish is a fundamental part of our work to manage this important natural resource sustainably.”

This season, fishermen are again being asked by NRW to practice full restraint and ensure conservation of fish stocks by voluntarily releasing all the salmon they catch in 2018.

Dave explained: “Our salmon stocks are in serious trouble and have fallen to historically low levels and the same is true of about half of our sea trout stocks.

“Neither species can sustain uncontrolled killing of fish and so we are again asking all anglers to release all of their salmon.

“Most anglers are already voluntarily releasing the fish they catch, but some are not. We feel the situation is now so serious for salmon that we must ask all anglers to help preserve as many fish as possible by returning all their salmon.

“It’s also very important to take great care of returned fish. Fishing methods and tackle should be used that ensure fish have a high probability of survival, they should always be kept in the water while unhooking to ensure they can swim away strongly.”

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