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Church continues fine form

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Beca Roberts and Lili Church (Aberaeron): With Dorrien Thomas

THE ​WELSH Athletics & Welsh Schools Indoor Combined Events Championships took placeat the National Indoor Athletics Centre in Cyncoed, Cardiff ​last Saturday (Oct 7).

It has not been long since the dust settled on the 2017 outdoor season, but the weekend brought the opening fixture of the 2017-18 indoor season.

U18 and U16 athletes competed in a Pentathlon whilst the U14 athletes contested the Quadrathlon.

A group of athletes from Dyfed schools entered the competition to test themselves against top class athletes from across Wales, many gaining their first experience at indoor events.

Two Carmarthen Harriers coached by Dorrien Thomas – Beca Roberts (Bro Pedr) and Lili Church (Aberaeron) in the under 16 girls’ age group continued their fine form after the conclusion of the track and field season.

Roberts won a bronze medal by finishing in third overall – her performances totalling a personal best of 2872 were: Long Jump 4.90m; 60m Hurdles 9.82; High Jump 1.50; Shot 7.74m and 800m 2.38.49.

Church matched her teammate with a PB score of 2493 finished off well in 10th position thanks to: Long Jump 4.16m; 60m Hurdles 10.30; Shot 8.09m and 800m 3.04.18 as well as a big jump of 1.62m in the high jump. This performance was the best out of the under 16 and under 18 girls combined!

They were joined by another three consisting of Pembrokeshire and Llanelli athletes. Completing the day in ​eighth place was Dyffryn Taf pupil Flavia Jenkins. The high jump competition for these girls turned out to be a success helped by Jenkins’ 5th best jump of 1.47m, beating her previous personal best jump four times.

Llanelli AC club friends and Bryngwyn duo Iona Melrose and Amy Mullen stayed close throughout the whole competition matching each other’s’ results with Melrose just coming out on top in 17th (1876) and 18th (1829) respectively.

Elsewhere, Dylan Phillips (Bro Gwaun) won an individual bronze medal in the under 16 boys category scoring 2907 points. He was just 18 points off from gaining silver but clear of the rest of the field. Phillips finished off in the top ​four in all five events including winning the shot discipline.

Pembrokeshire young talented duo Jamie Zygadlo (STP) and Lucy Wintle (Preseli) came agoningsly close to confirm their places on the podium, just finishing outside the medals. Zygadlo was fourth in the under 14 category only 70 points off his nearest competitor in bronze position. A fast time of 10.24 in the sprint hurdles gained him points in second overall throughout the three heats.

In the respective age group, the under 14 girls, Wintle also was fourth but clear of the rest of the field. Her final event, 800m run was the fastest recorded by any competitor (2.34.04). Her Dyfed teammate, Chloe Simmonite (Coedcae) from Llanelli AC was close behind in fifth out of 19 entrants. She performed consistently with Simmonite completing a one-two win in the 800m race (2.40.53). In the same age group, Grace Griffiths (Tasker Milward) enjoyed her day competing against the best indoor athletes in Wales finishing off with 738 points.

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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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