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:
Police call for vigilance to report illegal raves
DYFED-POWYS POLICE is asking farmers and local landowners to be on the alert over the next few months for warning signs of any illegal gatherings planned for their land over the summer.
Gatherings – such as illegal raves – can cause considerable anxiety to the community and if they are not dealt with swiftly, they are difficult to stop or otherwise control, due often to the sheer numbers of persons involved and the safety aspects surrounding breaking up such an event.
Superintendent Robyn Mason said: “There is little doubt that these type of events are very well planned, organised and that local knowledge is important in drawing down the main group to a particular ‘vulnerable’ field, or area of land which has been targeted previously as a suitable venue.
“Farmers, landowners and local communities are encouraged to report any suspicious activity immediately to the Police; this may be an unusual numbers of vehicles, especially camper vans, vans or trucks in the locality, illegal trespassers who may be doing ‘recce’ of sites in advance of the event.
“I can assure local communities that Police will take the appropriate action to deter illegal gatherings and deal robustly with any criminal offences discovered or disclosed.”
Members of the public are also urged to be vigilant of persons who approach landowners or enquiring for land, in the guise of hiring for apparently acceptable activities such as gymkhanas and scouts/guides events.
Please contact Police on 101 with reports on any suspicious activity.
Wheelchair-bound man jailed for child sex offences
A CHILD sex offender from Ystrad Meurig has been jailed despite being wheelchair-bound.
Dean Harper, aged 61, had distributed child pornography and tried to entice a 10-year-old girl into sexually abusing herself and sending him photographs.
Harper, of Sisial y Pin, Ffair Rhos, admitted downloading 317 indecent images of children in the most serious category A, 400 in category B and 500 in C.
He also admitted sending images in all three categories to a third party, all on a single day in October, 2016.
Harper also admitted attempting to incite the girl into sexual activity knowing that she was only 10-years-old.
Kevin Jones, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that the distribution of the images alerted the police who raided Harper’s home and removed computer equipment.
An examination of his internet activity revealed he had made contact with a girl via social media and swapped messages with her.
The judge, Mr Recorder Peter Griffiths told Harper his offending was serious and a jail sentence was inevitable despite his disability.
Harper was jailed for a total of two years and ordered to register with the police as a sex offender for 10 years.
He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order which will restrict his contact with young people and his internet activity after his release from prison.
Royals set to visit Ceredigion during summer visit
AS PART of their annual summer visit to Wales, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will be visiting Ceredigion next month.
From July 2-6, Charles and Camilla will tour the country, undertaking over 20 engagements across the country.
On July 3, The Prince of Wales will visit Dà Mhìle Distillery, Llandysul, the first organic distillery in the UK approved by the Soil Association, where he was previously gifted the thousandth bottle to be produced by Dà Mhìle.
The Prince of Wales will also visit St. Gwenog’s Church, Llanwenog, and view their unique carvings created by Joseph Reubens, a Belgian World War One refugee. His Royal Highness will also meet members of their local community.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s fourteenth annual Summer visit to Wales will feature celebrations to mark the 70th Anniversary of The National Health Service and the marking the 150th anniversary of the Heart of Wales railway line amongst other events.
A Clarence House spokesperson said: “The Prince and The Duchess are really looking forward to their annual summer visit to Wales where they will be celebrating key anniversaries for the National Health Service, the Heart of Wales railway line and the 90th anniversary of Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisation. Their Royal Highnesses relish the opportunity to meet members of the community who are making a difference to Welsh life.”
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