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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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Llanwrda bookshop in the running to be named Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2020

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AN appointment only bookshop in Llanwrda, Carmarthenshire, which offers a beautifully curated collection of books as well as cards, wrapping paper and Fair Trade gifts, has been named on the shortlist of retailers in the running to be named Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2020.

Books At The Dragon’s Garden says it “aims to make a visit to our shop an experience”. The shop runs a loyalty scheme for customers and offers promotions throughout the year. In addition, in its base at the market garden it uses organic compost, seeds and freshly picked vegetables and flowers. It only uses paper bags and has planted lots of pollinators in the garden to increase biodiversity.

The Best Small Shops competition is managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC), whose member trade associations represent approximately 100,000 independent retailers throughout the UK between them. The competition celebrates the commitment and creativity of independent retailers on the UK’s High Streets and the central role they play in their local communities. It is sponsored by Maybe*, an engagement platform that helps make social media work for independent retailers. The winner will be announced next month.

In addition to the main award, Books At The Dragon’s Garden has also been shortlisted for a special award to be given to the independent retailer that has demonstrated specific innovation to combat the impact of COVID-19. This award is sponsored by booost, the loyalty, gifting and promotions app.

“It was impossible to make my previous shop both safe and financially viable, so I had a radical rethink and a conversion of two old stables at my market garden meant I was able to move the entire shop to a rural location,” explains owner Mandy Tomos.

In the interim I continued to promote the business on social media and sold online via the website. I received an award as a “Local Hero” for continuing to supply my local community during lockdown. As the shop is now appointment only, it is very safe for both customers and staff, numbers are low and social distancing is easy. Contactless payment is taken outside under cover. I used social media to maintain contact with my customers and wrote a chatty book suggestion column in our local free paper every month.”

“This has been a particularly challenging year for small, independent retailers and many have come through to this point through innovation, quality of product and service, a commitment to serve their local communities and a large dose of determination,” explains Mark Walmsley, Chair of the IRC.

“As more and more people have been forced to stay home and work from home, we have seen just how much we all value local independent shops and want to see them not just survive, but also thrive. These shops offer choice, diversity and genuine customer service. And, after what has been a rather dark year, that has to be worth celebrating.”

The annual competition highlights the best of Britain’s independent retail sector, celebrating the commitment and creativity of independent retailers and the central role they play in their local communities. Previous winners have included Bristol-based delicatessen Papadeli, the 2019 winner, and The Mainstreet Trading Company, a combined bookshop, café, deli & homeware shop based in St Boswells, in the rural Scottish Borders, which won in 2018.

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Safe Zone arrangements during firebreak

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Aberaeron Safe Zone

FOLLOWING the announcement by First Minister Mark Drakeford that introduced a ‘fire break’ across Wales, Ceredigion County Council will not be closing the roads daily within the safe zones between 6pm on Friday, October 23 and 11am on November 9.

Some aspects will remain where changes are in place 24/7 or temporary parking restrictions apply. Council owned public car parks will remain free during this period for residents and visitors alike.

Safe Zone – Recent amendments

Further minor amendments have come into effect this week, they are:

· In Aberaeron, on street parking will return between Cadwgan Place and Market Street junction.
· In Aberystwyth, there is controlled blue holder access to Eastgate from Portland Street as well as controlled access to Chalybeate Street from Terrace Road.
· In Cardigan, there will be controlled blue badge holder access along High Street.

Safe zones are reviewed fortnightly in line with the infection rate and available evidence. A further announcement will be made before 09 November.

More information can be seen on the safe zones Council web page: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/SafeZones

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Two week national ‘Firebreak Lockdown’ announced for Wales from 6pm on Friday

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MARK DRAKEFORD, The First Minister of Wales has announced a two week ‘fire break’ lockdown from Friday October 23 at 18:00 HRS, to last until Monday November 9 at 00:01 HRS

Mr Drakeford said: “This firebreak is the shortest we can make it. It must be sharp and deep in order to have the impact we need it to have on the virus.”

All non essential businesses, including tourism businesses will be told to close.

Businesses have been told that they will be given £1000 each automatically to help with the economic impact of the shutdown.

Mr Drakeford added that children will be the priority and that childcare facilities will open as normal. Primary schools will open after half term.

Secondary schools will be closed for a week after half term to help control the virus.

Universities will offer a mixture of face-to-face learning and learning via video link. Students must stay at their university accommodation during the lockdown.

Responding to the Welsh Government’s announcement of a Wales-wide lockdown, Paul Davies MS, the Leader of the Opposition in the Welsh Parliament, has called the lockdown “not-proportionate” and is calling on the Welsh Government to be “open and transparent” on the evidence to support a lockdown and if the First Minister is committing Wales to rolling Wales-wide lockdowns every month.

Paul Davies MS said: “Sadly, the First Minster has failed to get public support for this second Wales-wide lockdown, failing to be open and transparent about the evidence to justify this lockdown and what his actions will entail for the future.

“The Welsh Government also has to be honest that this road they are taking us down is committing Wales to rolling Wales-wide lockdowns. This is not a two-week break to solve the pandemic, it is likely that we will see regular lockdowns across the rest of the year. The Welsh Government must be clear what actions they are taking during the lockdown to prevent further Wales-wide lockdowns which will have a significant impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.

“However, the main concern is that this national lockdown is not proportionate. The impact on businesses in areas such as Powys, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, who have the lowest rate of Covid-19 cases in Wales, will be severe at a time when they are desperately struggling to recover from the pandemic so far this year.

“The First Minister needs to urgently come to the Welsh Parliament and answer these questions, to face effective scrutiny by elected representatives and not run his government by media.”

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP, Stephen Crabb told The Herald: “The evidence to support an all-Wales lockdown is weak and I am sceptical that this so-called ‘fire-break’ will tackle the situation in those parts of Wales where infection rates have been out of control. The key issue for Welsh Government to address is what will be done differently after the firebreak ends in those parts of Wales where infection rates have spiralled out of control. Otherwise the whole of Wales risks being dragged back into a series of rolling lockdowns.

“As we saw earlier in the year, lockdowns come with huge costs in terms of harm to the economy and to people’s emotional and mental wellbeing. With the Welsh Government asking UK Government to fund this lockdown, I hope that as many businesses as possible get support they need quickly. Pembrokeshire’s hospitality businesses will be hit particularly hard by these latest restrictions and I will be fighting hard again to see that they are protected as the lockdown kicks in.”

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