But the restructure has raised concerns for the clubs in the lower rungs of the current leagues, as some of them may leap up to play clubs two leagues higher than them. In a letter to the clubs accompanying the new league structure, WRU administration manager Martyn Rees explains the process that has taken place and outlines the Union’s position. “We are all well aware of the concerns expressed by some clubs about the effect of the new league system and the consequent decision to have this issue debated within the forum of an Extraordinary General Meeting of the WRU,” said Rees. “Therefore, it is vitally important that you study the league document in detail in order to take an informed view of its impact on the season ahead for your club and the benefit of the whole game in Wales. “We all realise it is impossible for any radical change to achieve unanimous support across our club structure, but it is the view of the WRU that the structure as proposed addresses in a reasonable manner all the issues which have been raised. “It is vital when you consider the structure that you remember the call for change originated from a number of clubs who expressed concerns about the league structure as it stood. “Those concerns included, but were not limited to, travel costs, travel time commitments on players and volunteers and the desire to restore local derby matches in the best interests of the game.” The leagues affecting Pembrokeshire teams are as follows:
Championship: Swansea, RGC 1404, Cardiff Met, University, Pontypool, Narberth, Bargoed, Tata Steel, Tondu, Bridgend Athletic, Llanharan, Blackwood, Newbridge, Glynneath, Merthyr.
Division 1 West: Whitland, Llangennech, Carmarthen Athletic, Crymych, Gorseinon, Kidwelly, Newcastle Emlyn, Felinfoel, Ammanford, Amman United, Loughor, Tenby United.
Division 2 West: Penlan, Penclawdd, Pontarddulais, Tycroes, Cardigan, Llanelli Wanderers, Llanybydder, Llandeilo, Haverfordwest, Aberystwyth, Gowerton, Hendy.
Division 3 West B: Fishguard, Milford Haven, Pembroke, Pembroke Dock Quins, Neyland, Aberaeron, St Clears, Llangwm, St Davids, Laugharne.
Wales v Scotland postponed
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.”
Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended
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.
Exercise Referral Scheme doing more for health intervention than ever before
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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