ABERYSTWYTH BASKETBALL CLUB have become the first Gold Insport club in Ceredigion as it continues to grow in popularity.
The club was formed in 1992 by Lee Coulson and Alex Manlucato and began as a group of young people who would meet regularly to enjoy the game of Basketball.
25 years on, Aberystwyth Basketball has 4 sections – Aberystwyth Basketball Club, Aberystwyth Angels Ladies Basketball Club, Westcoast Warriors Wheelchair Basketball Club and Walking Basketball Aberystwyth.
This year the club celebrates its 25th birthday with a membership of around 150 participants ranging from under 5s to over 50s and for all abilities. The club’s slogan is BALL 4 ALL and has an ‘open door’ policy with an ethos of ‘anyone can play’.
Helen Pearce Secretary for Aberystwyth Basketball Club said: “Achieving Gold insport is not only a number of ‘firsts’ – first Gold insport Club in Ceredigion, first Gold insport Club in Basketball Wales, it is also recognition that our club joins the other Gold insport Clubs in leading the way to inclusivity in sport in Wales.
“Being part of Aberystwyth Basketball means everything to me. On a personal level I am enjoying playing the latest form of the game – walking basketball, never in a million years did I ever think at the age of 51 I would be playing a competitive team sport! In my club role as Welfare Officer I am immensely proud to be able to say that whatever your age, race, gender or ability our club has a session that you can take part in.”
As well as having over 11 weekly sessions the club also have a volunteering programme, a coach mentoring programme and an ambassador programme that offer young people opportunities to contribute to the club through coaching and social media. This gives them a level of responsibility, raises their profile within the club and allows them access to training and a mentorship programme.
Disability Sport Wales Development Officer for Ceredigion, Gemma Cutter, has been working closely with the club for a number of years and said: “I am extremely proud of Aberystwyth Basketball Club. They are the first club in Ceredigion and in the west region to achieve insport Gold standard and are also leading the way with inclusivity on a national level. They deserve every recognition for the hard work that they do.”
Founding member Lee Coulson said: “Receiving insport Gold is a fantastic achievement for the club and its members. It has been an opportunity to show that Aberystwyth Basketball truly is an inclusive Club.
“Having founded the club and celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Aberystwyth Basketball Club has come so far and continues to grow and attract new players of all ages and abilities. Our open-door policy has proved that with an open mind and determination any sport can be adapted for everyone to play.”
Carwyn Young, Sport Wales Senior Officer, said “it was fantastic to listen to Lee and Helen share the journey that Aberystwyth Basketball have been on since they were established. The range of basketball activities they provide means they truly cater for everyone and shows what is possible if a club has the drive and desire to be inclusive. The Gold insport accreditation is richly deserved and all the players and volunteers should be proud of what they’ve achieved”
DSW Partnership Manager, Michelle Daltry, said: “Congratulations to Aberystwyth Basketball Club on achieving the insport Club Gold standard, this award recognises the tremendous ethic that the club displays to ensure that everyone can take part in the sport.
“The club should be particularly commended for the fantastic work that is being done to support disabled young people to become coaches and volunteers. Congratulations and a huge thanks to all involved.”
If you would like to get involved with Aberystwyth Basketball Club please visit www.aberbasketball. co.uk
Boxer set to compete in Germany
CARDIGAN light-welterweight boxer Ben Rees-Davies returns to the scene of his greatest performance this week (Oct 19-22) when he competes in the prestigious Eindhoven Box Cup in Germany.
Seventeen months ago, the talented 25-year-old acquitted himself superbly by winning a bronze medal in a tournament which invariably draws some of the finest amateurs in Europe and the world.
Rees-Davies – a lance corporal in the Royal Welsh Regiment – eventually lost in the semi-finals to Russian number one Arman Zakaryan, the 2015 European champion and an Olympic qualifier.
A series of injuries mean that the former Cardigan ABC man has not boxed since losing in the Welsh Championships quarter-finals in March.
But Rees-Davies says he is now fully fit, fuelled by the nagging belief he has never quite fulfilled his potential – and by the fact he may soon have to hang up his gloves.
“I’m entered into an 18-man strong group with boxers from all over the world, it’s a Commonwealth Games qualifying tournament so there will be a fantastic pedigree of boxers,” he told the Herald.
“I’ve had a few frustrating injuries since the Welsh Championships so I haven’t been active, but if anything it’s made me more hungry to get back in the ring and achieve big things this year.
“For me it’s a massive season, and it could be my last so I’m aiming to achieve as much as I can and show my true potential once and for all.”
Rees-Davies said the time was approaching when he would have to focus wholeheartedly on his Army career.
He explained: “I want to progress with promotion. I love boxing with all my heart, but I have to think of my career also.”
He said he was ‘eternally grateful’ to long-time friend Anthony Studley, of Hair Lounge 4 Men in Cardigan – himself a former Cardigan ABC boxer – for helping him with funding.
“I massively appreciate help from him and he’s a credit to the town,” he said.
Aber knocked out by Reds
Aberaeron • 1
Llanelli Town • 6
JD Welsh Cup
LLANELLI TOWN proved too strong for Aberaeron last Saturday (Oct 7), as they were knocked out of the JD Welsh Cup by their Welsh League Division 1 opponents.
With the pitch looking immaculate the scene was set for a memorable cup tie but unfortunately that dream only lasted five minutes.
Aberaeron, who have regularly conceded easy goals from lost possession, were left in no doubt that it should be safety first.
A cleared defensive header from an early corner for Llanelli should have been dealt with but possession was lost and a quick cross was easily headed in to the net.
Before Aberaeron could settle, Llanelli’s star player Lee Trundle beat three players to give himself a sight on goal and he thundered an unstoppable shot in off the underside of the bar.
Aberaeron woke up and Matty Davies was twice through on goal but no end product. Llanelli were passing well and Lee Trundle found himself one on one against Sion Clark. He turned cleverly leaving the defender in his wake and was unceremoniously upended for a clear penalty. Trundle drove it hard to the keeper’s left for number three.
Once more Aberaeron came in to the game, but passes were awry and often intercepted. A long clearance from Llanelli was not caught by Edwards, the Aberaeron keeper and the ball was easily tapped in to an empty net.
The second half was an attempt at a pride salvaging operation and Aberaeron gave a good account of themselves without finding the opponents net.
Trundle was kept at bay for the majority of the half but his trickery once more led to him being fouled in the box and he, once more, slammed the ball to the keeper’s left for five nil.
Aberaeron did get a consolation goal from the penalty spot from Matty Davies before another calamitous defending error gave Llanelli a sixth.
The score did not truly reflect the game but it reflects the ruthlessness of an ex professional striker who, clearly writes his own headlines- quite deservedly.
For Aberaeron, these are worrying times and the next three fixtures are ‘must wins’.
If Aberaeron cannot eradicate the problem of losing simple possession then it’s going to a long and very difficult season.
Aber climb off the bottom
Aberystwyth Town • 0
Barry Town • 0
ABERYSTWYTH TOWN earned themselves a point to climb off the bottom of the JD Welsh Premier League table last Saturday afternoon (Oct 7), as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Barry Town United at Park Avenue.
Both sides missed good opportunities to win the game in the second half, but the game ended in stalemate as both managers settled for a point apiece.
Aber manager Nev Powell made one change to the starting line-up from Tuesday’s Nathaniel MG Cup defeat to Airbus UK Broughton, with John Owen replacing Cledan Davies, which meant Mathew Jones started at left back for the first time in his Black and Greens’ career.
Both sides started the game cautiously, with the game lacking any real rhythm through the first 15 minutes. Barry came closest to opening the scoring on 16 minutes, as Chris Mullock somehow pulled off an instinctive point-blank save from Kayne Mclaggon’s close range shot.
Mclaggon was forced off through injury shortly afterwards, and Macauley Southam fired a long-range effort over the bar for the visitors.
Aber continued to struggle to get any threatening attacking play going, with Ryan Wade shooting well wide of the post on separate occasions.
The half time whistle could not come soon enough for the 233 spectators at Park Avenue.
The first 15 minutes of the second half again proved to be rather uninspiring for the neutrals, as both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances.
On 60 minutes, Aber’s midfield maestro Malcolm Melvin, and soon after striker Craig Hobson were introduced in place of Ryan Wollacott and Joe Phillips, with manager Nev Powell looking for some fresh impetus from his side.
Aber began to slowly crank up the pressure on the visitors’ rear guard, as Ryan Wade shot straight at Barry keeper Mike Lewis, before Hobson almost converted an in-swinging Ashley Young free kick.
Barry themselves continues to look dangerous on the counter attack with the pace of wide men Tyrrell Webbe and Drew Fahiya, but on 87 minutes Aber again came close to the breakthrough as Hobson headed Wade’s cross into the side-netting.
Aber looked for one last chance as the game headed into three minutes of added time, and they very nearly found the winner in the dying seconds as right back Declan Walker brought the ball down from the sky and fired a low shot towards goal, only for it to hit the outside of the post.
This was another occasion where Aber have to settle for a point when it could so easily have been three, but manager Nev Powell will take encouragement from the organisation and defensive qualities his side showed today, keeping their first clean sheet in the league this season.
Town now turn their attentions to their next JD Welsh Premier League fixture away to Llandudno, on Saturday (Oct 14).
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