THE DINAS HEAD Challenge took place last Saturday, when a record number of 32 boats entered for the annual eight-mile rowing race from Goodwick to Parrog Newport. The event, hosted by Newport Boat Club, has become a favourite with rowers from all over Wales, with many types of boats entering, including Celtic Longboats, an Australian surf boat, yoles and two of the oldest boats in the race, the Margaret Whitehall from Fishguard and Danny Boy from Newport. With almost perfect sea conditions and an off-shore wind the scene was set for some very fast times. Beating the existing record time set by the Aberdfi men in 2006, was a distinct possibility. As the boats set off it was the Australian surf boat crewed by the Newport men that pulled away from their nearest rivals showing exceptional pace as they rounded the Dinas Head. Further back it was Newport juniors, competing in their first ever Dinas Head, who were passing boats at ease and performing well above their expectations. Also in hot pursuit was the top men?s team from Solva who had passed much of the field and were pushing to catch the front runners. Not far behind and having started in 13th place it was the highly rated mixed team from Cardigan along with the veteran men?s team from Mumbles and the two top ladies teams from Aberporth and Wisemans Bridge that were moving up the field. A large crowd of supporters had gathered at Newport boat club to welcome the boats home, and it was the Newport men in the Australian surf boat that crossed the finish line first, recording the fastest ever time in the open category of 59mins 49secs, followed by the Solva men in a time of 55:03 smashing the existing overall fastest time by over a minute. The records continued to tumble, with the Cardigan mixed team finishing in 58:07, Mumbles veteran men in 59:03, and the Wisemen?s ladies in a time of 1:01:46. One of the biggest cheers of the day was for the Newport Juniors, who were also raising money for the Air Ambulance, and they finished in a new record time of 1:02:03. Thanks goes to all the competitors and to the many members and staff of Newport Boat Club for their assistance on the day.
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.