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Ceredigion pistol shooter picked for Commonwealth Games

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TWO Cardiff University students have been selected for the Wales team at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Medical student Lewis Oliva, 25, has been selected in the cycling sprint while Coral Kennerley, 23, who is studying mechanical engineering, will compete in pistol shooting.

Their selection follows a previous announcement that Cardiff University student Dean Bale will represent England in rifle shooting at the Games.

Cardiff University student Coral, from Aberystwyth, has a sense of unfinished business after illness affected her performance at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games four years ago.

Coral said: “I’m really excited to be competing for Wales in my second Commonwealth Games.

“Having been hit by glandular fever two months before the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, I’m determined to improve on my performance in the Gold Coast in April.

“It’s an honour to be able to represent Wales at such a big competition. It’s going to be great to see our small nation come together as a team on the other side of the world.”

Coral, who has been selected for Great Britain at the World University Shooting Championships in Malaysia in March, is the current Welsh and British women’s champion.

Lewis, from Devauden in Monmouthshire, has enjoyed a highly successful year, becoming British national Keirin champion and competing against some of the world’s top cyclists in the Tissiot UCI World Cup series, where he claimed a silver in Milton, Canada in the Keirin.

He also secured a spot in the Great Britain team for the World Track Cycling Championships, making his world championship debut in April in Hong Kong.

Lewis made headlines earlier this month when his specialist cycling shoes were stolen from his partner’s car outside the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. Fortunately, following a public appeal, the shoes were found discarded in an alleyway and returned to him.

Lewis said: “This is my third Commonwealth Games and obviously it’s really exciting to be named in the team travelling to Australia.

“It has been a big focus for both the cycling team and me, and what has made this time around extra special is the great support I’ve received from Cardiff University – in particular, the high performance programme and the medical school. Training has been going really well and I look forward to mixing it up in a few months.

“Since enrolling at Cardiff University I’ve been fortunate enough to become British champion and perform consistently on the world stage, winning a number of World Cup medals. The Commonwealth Games presents a huge opportunity to top this season off. It’s always extra special to pull on the Welsh jersey, a proud moment for any Welshman.”

 

University Head of Sport Stuart Vanstone said: “It’s brilliant news to hear of Lewis and Coral’s qualification for the Gold Coast.

“Both have had previous experience of competing in the Commonwealth Games, with Lewis competing previously in Delhi in 2010 and both Lewis and Coral being part of Team Wales for the Glasgow games in 2014.”

The selection of Coral and Lewis for Wales followed news in December that Dean Bale, another Cardiff University student, had been selected to represent England in rifle shooting at Gold Coast 2018.

Computer science student Dean, 20, from Barnstaple in Devon, said: “When I found out that I was selected to represent England at my first Commonwealth Games, I was thrilled that all the hard work I put into training and competing had paid off.

“I competed at the Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championship, which is the test event for the Commonwealth Games, in November and made the final, finishing in fifth. So I’m feeling pretty confident that I will hopefully make the final and, with the training plan I have laid out, I’m hoping to go out there and improve on my fifth place finish.”

Head of Sport Stuart added: “All of the students have been able to balance their studies and the demanding training session schedules leading to selection.

“I have no doubt that given the dedication and commitment shown by Lewis, Coral and Dean, they will do themselves and the University proud with their performances. Good luck and we will all be watching, cheering you on.”

All three athletes are part of the University’s high performance programme, which helps students excel at in both their sporting and academic careers during their time at Cardiff.

The programme offers a range of support including strength and conditioning training, fitness testing and assessments, access to sports psychologists, free membership of all University sports facilities, free branded kit and potential financial awards.

The Commonwealth Games take place at the Gold Coast from April 4-15 this year.

The commitment of Coral and Lewis to their chosen sports has been beautifully captured in new films, commissioned by Cardiff University, which highlight their commitment to their sport. You can view the films here:

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Police urge visitors to ‘check the rules’

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POLICE in Powys are reminding people to check the rules before they travel, as tourists from the Midlands, London and Bristol continue to visit despite lockdown restrictions.

Last weekend more than 1,000 cars were turned around by police in the Brecon Beacons after visitors attempted to access the area around Ystradfellte known as ‘waterfall country’.

Many of those stopped claimed they thought the rules around travel were the same as in England, while others had deliberately flouted them.

Seventy-two per cent of people reported for breaches of Covid-19 restrictions in Powys since March 27 have been from outside the police force area.

“I would like to thank the communities of Powys for their cooperation in recent months in complying with requirements of the Covid 19 legislation and also reassure them we are still working hard with our partners to police the restrictions that remain in place across Wales,” said Superintendent Steve Davies.

“Our officers have worked hard to engage with the public at every opportunity throughout these unprecedented times by explaining what we are doing and why, and encouraging people to make the best choices to protect public health in Wales.

“But where people have clearly flouted the rules we have dealt with them appropriately and issued fines.”

He said officers will continue to conduct stop checks throughout Powys and across the force area this weekend.

In England, people can now travel an unlimited distance for exercise and to access so-called ‘beauty spots’.

But the Welsh Government has said people must remain local – ideally not travelling further than five miles from their home – for exercise or limited leisure pursuits, and this also applies to anyone travelling across the border.

Wales’ three national parks – which include popular sites such as Snowdon, the Elan valley and the Pembrokeshire coast – currently remain closed to the public, as do all National Trust car parks and properties.

The latest Welsh Government advice is available at gov.wales/coronavirus.

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‘Check in, Catch up and Prepare’ All school’s in Wales prepare to enter next phase

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ALL children will have the opportunity to “Check in, Catch Up, Prepare for summer and September”, the Education Minister Kirsty Williams announced today as she published details of the next phase for schools in Wales.

It is proposed that all schools will start the next phase on 29 June, with the term extended by a week, therefore ending on 27 July.

In the next academic year, beginning in September, the intention is that the autumn half-term break will be expanded to two weeks.

In each school there will be a phased approach. Year groups will be split into cohorts with staggered starts, lessons and breaks. It is expected that this will mean, at most, a third of pupils present at any one time, though schools may need time to reach this level of operation.

There will be much smaller classes, providing secure dedicated time with teachers and classmates. This time will include online and personalised classroom experience, getting children and teachers ready for a similar experience in September.

Next week, the Welsh Government will publish guidance to support schools, as well as further and higher education institutions. This will include information on managing their facilities and logistical arrangements, including buildings, resources, cleaning and transport.

The Government is also today publishing a paper from its COVID-19 Technical Advisory Group, representing the latest understanding of the virus with respect to children and education.

Further Education colleges are ensuring that appropriate measures are being taken to re-open for face-to-face learning from 15 June. They will prioritise those students requiring licence to practice assessments and vulnerable learners. This follows close working with Government and the joint trade unions.

Guidance for childcare providers will also be published in the next week, supporting them to increase the numbers of children in attendance alongside schools.

Kirsty Williams said:

“My announcement today gives schools three and a half weeks to continue preparing for the next phase.

“We will use the last weeks of the summer term to make sure pupils, staff and parents are prepared – mentally, emotionally and practically – for the new normal in September.

“29 June means there will have been one full month of test, trace and protect, which will continue to expand. I can also announce that teachers will be a priority group in our new antibody-testing programme. As we continue to keep Wales safe, this approach will be critical.

“The evolving science suggests that warm weather and sunlight gives us the best opportunity to ensure more time in school. Waiting until September would mean almost half a year without schooling. That would be to the detriment to the wellbeing, learning progress and mental health of our young people.

“This is and has been a worrying period for us all. I know that many will feel apprehensive. We have not rushed this work and this decision.

“The three and a half week period before the next phase also gives us time to keep watch on developments elsewhere and provides further check-points to review evidence and the roll-out of testing.

“This is the best practical option that meets my five principles which underpin my decision making.

“I am also convinced that it is only by returning to their own school that we will see increased attendance from our more vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

“Working together we will secure equity and excellence for pupils as they check in, catch up, and prepare for summer and September.”

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Four further coronavirus cases confirmed in Hywel Dda area

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THE LATEST figures from Public Health Wales (PHW) reveal four new cases of coronavirus have been reported in the Hywel Dda Health Board Area.

As of today, June 2, Carmarthenshire identified three new cases, Pembrokeshire has one new case and none in Ceredigion, meaning the new totals stand at 732, 279 and 42.

Wales now has a total of 14,121, with 67 new cases and seven additional deaths recorded, bringing the death total to 1,354.

With Hywel Dda reporting 61 deaths to date.

Dr Giri Shankar, incident director for the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “Contact tracing continues in Wales as part of the Welsh Government’s ‘Test, Trace, Protect’ strategy. Contact tracing is the process of identifying people who have come in contact with an individual with Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) in order to prevent the risk of others spreading the infection in our communities.

“Anyone who has a positive Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) test will be contacted by a team of contact tracers, and asked for details of everyone they have had close contact with while they have had symptoms.

“Please keep a note of your activities so you can easily remember your whereabouts on a given day, along with who were in contact with. You do not need to have any concerns about providing names to the tracing team. This is for everyone’s benefit and we are grateful for your continued cooperation.

“If you are asked to self-isolate, you should also comply with this request to prevent further spread of the virus.

“Tracers are trained staff and personal information that you provide will handled in line with data protection regulations and will not be shared widely.

“Over the last few weeks, Public Health Wales has been setting up the methods and guidance for how contact tracing will operate. We will continue to work closely to support local health boards and local authorities in delivering contact tracing.

“Welsh Government’s revised lockdown arrangements also continue. People from two different households in the same local area can meet up outdoors, provided they continue to maintain social distancing and strict hand hygiene.

“The announcement adds that, as a general rule, people should not travel more than five miles from home. This will help to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading as people begin to travel more.

“Revised lockdown arrangements also apply to people in Wales who have been told to ‘shield’ from the virus. They are able to go outside and meet people from another household, provided they keep a two-metre distance.

“Future relaxation of lockdown measures will also be dependent on everyone following advice set out in the ‘Test, Trace, Protect’ strategy, including self-isolating when required.

“Information about the symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) to look out for is available on the Public Health Wales website, or members of the public can use the NHS Wales symptom checker.

“Anyone experiencing Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms can now apply for a home testing kit using the new UK online portal. For further information and a link to the booking website, visit: www.gov.wales/coronavirus or www.llyw.cymru/coronafeirws. This will be supported by a national 119 phone service, through which people can also order a home test.

“We are encouraging everyone to download the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Symptom Study app, which has been supported by Welsh Government. The app allows users to log daily symptoms to help build a clearer picture of how the virus is affecting people. For more information, including how to download the app, visit covid.joinzoe.com.

“As part of wider support measures for families, Public Health Wales is offering all parents, parents-to-be, grandparents and care-givers free access to a series of online courses designed to help them understand the development and emotional milestones of their children, covering everything from pre-birth to late teens.

“To get access users just need to visit www.inourplace.co.uk and use the code ‘NWSOL’ if you live in North Wales, and ‘SWSOL’ if you live in Mid, West or South Wales.

“Public Health Wales is also continuing working to address the negative impact of Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) on the social, mental and physical wellbeing of people in Wales. Our latest campaign, ‘How are you doing?’ is now live and offering practical advice from phw.nhs.wales/howareyoudoing.

“Anyone with a suspected coronavirus illness should not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. They should only contact NHS 111 if they feel they cannot cope with their symptoms at home, their condition gets worse, or their symptoms do not get better after seven days.

“Only call 999 if you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, do not call 999 just because you are on hold to 111. We appreciate that 111 lines are busy, but you will get through after a wait.

“We also want to reinforce the message from NHS Wales that urgent and emergency care services for physical and mental health are still open and accessible.

“For parents, if your child is unwell and you are concerned you should seek help. If you have urgent dental pain you should still call your dentist. If you have a health complaint that is worrying you and won’t go away you should call your GP practice. If you or a family member are seriously ill or injured you should dial 999 or attend your nearest Emergency Department.”

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