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ISSUE eighteen

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Greene & Gold Dai brings back the bling

Sam's the man

Why Warburton is the youngest ever World Cup captain

Go for Joe Ledley ready for club and country

Covering all of Welsh sport including athletics, rugby, football, table tennis, swimming, motorsport, sea rowing, cycling, gymnastics and Youth Games.

The National Sports Magazine for Wales


F i r e w o r k s S p e c ta c u l a r Saturday 5th November 2011 Remember, remember this date for November and join us for a dazzling display as we light up the sky above The Celtic Manor Resort to mark this occasion in spectacular style. Enjoy a fabulous fireworks extravaganza with live music and entertainment, children’s funfair rides, a licensed bar and even a special appearance from our Resort mascots, Dylan the Dragon and Forest Jump. With lots of tasty winter warming treats to enjoy including a hog roast, hot dogs, burgers and toffee apples, wrap up warm and celebrate with us for what promises to be a truly memorable night for the whole family.

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Editor’s notes

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SAM WARBURTON

Youngest Wales skipper

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ELGAN'S ESPN

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LLOYD BURNS

Brickie builds rugby career

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JOE LEDLEY

Celtic star making a mark

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SUE KENT

cover story Great Greene

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Dai Greene moved into the superstar bracket by winning the 400m hurdles World Championships. Next he will try to move past Welsh greats Lynn Davies and Colin Jackson.

Making waves

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DAI GREENE

Welsh athletics Golden Boy

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SPORTINGWALES RISING STARS

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News

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LUKE ROWE

Super Sam

Sam Warburton is the youngest ever Welsh World Cup captain, so what is it that makes the flanker leadership material?

Cyclist on a roll

Swimmer making a splash

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CAMERON DAVIES

Road to success

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UK YOUTH GAMES

Sailor Sue

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Sue Kent has had to overcome adversity, but has finally found a team sport to enjoy with a life on the ocean waves.

Contents

IEUAN LLOYD

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Our Partners

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welcome to sportingwales staff and contributors

It is always great to see history in the making – even in the strangest of circumstances. Yet that is what happened as Dai Greene streaked to his gold medal and place in Welsh sporting history in Daegu. All around Wales, offices and sporting events came to a halt as people watched the race. We were at the press conference at Royal Porthcawl to announce the first ever golf Major to be held in Wales, with the added twist of three Senior British Opens coming here in the decade.

Editor: Hamish Stuart hamish@sportingwales.com

The end of the press conference was rushed and the interviews delayed so everyone, including First Minister Carwyn Jones, could watch the race on telly. It was also great to see, on his return, the same Dai Greene who had spoken to the Welsh press earlier in the summer – intelligent, humorous and open. He stands on the verge of Olympic greatness, with his feet firmly on the ground and without letting it go to his head. That is a bit of a theme running through this edition for in many ways there are a lot of similarities between many of those featured – they are very grounded individuals. There is a fascinating contrast on our rugby coverage. Sam Warburton, the Wales World Cup captain, snapped up by the rugby academy system at the age of 15 and groomed for stardom, smoothly rising up through the ranks and captaining sides all the way through.

Photography: Steve Pope steve@sportingwales.com

By the time Warburton was Wales Under 16's captain, it looked as though Lloyd Burns would have his Wales Under 16's caps as the highlight of his career. He had faded from view, but never gave up on the hard work necessary to reach the top. We tell the contrasting tales here. During a Rugby World Cup it would also be remiss not look to the future and the SportingWales Rising Star awards. Matthew Morgan, Charlotte Carey and Ieuan Lloyd are all featured in these pages. There is the remarkable story of Sue Kent in the sport of sea rowing. Hers is a story that was brought to our attention by one of our readers, so please continue to get in touch with story ideas and feedback, through e-mail or through our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ SportingWalesMagazine).

Design: Paul P Bailey

Editors Message

paul@sportingwales.com

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Head of Sales: Cory Richards cory@sportingwales.com Contributors: Gary Baker Roger Hughes Maxine Ashford Sarah Mogford Matthew Sullivan

As ever, we are able to bring this quality product to you covering all of Welsh sport free of charge thanks to the partners, sponsors and advertisers, who also bring quality to the product. Please support them as they support us. If you cannot rely on getting a paper copy of the magazine then subscribe online through

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Contributing Photographers: Ian Cook Publisher: SportingWales Managing Director: Steve Pope Accounts Manager: John Pope

©SportingWales 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted or recorded in any form or by any means without prior written permission from the publisher. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of printing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear.

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Sam Warburton

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SWFacts Sam Warburton DOB 5th October 1988 Height 6ft 2in Weight 99kg Position Back Row Team Cardiff Blues

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Hamish Stuart

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Sam does it by the book When Sam Warburton was at school, dreaming of playing for Wales one day, he asked for a copy of the laws of rugby so he could fully understand how to bend the rules to the limit.

The number of Welsh rugby players who have read fully the laws of the game can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand, so that is one small example of the thoroughness which explains why the 22-year-old has become the youngest ever Wales World Cup captain. Flanker Warburton is someone who was groomed for captaincy coming up through the ranks of the age grade sides, but even then it is a little surprising how easily he has taken to leading those with many more caps and experience. Anyone you talk to about his captaincy comes up with the same explanation, he prepares and plays with every attention to detail for the good of the team – respect and captaincy tend to follow him, partly because he does nothing else to seek it. It undoubtedly helped that one of this teachers at Whitchurch High School was WRU referee Gwyn Morris, the

provider of the laws book, while his 1st XV coach there was Steve Williams, the former Neath and Glamorgan Wanderer flanker and one of the wisest heads on the schools circuit. Blues academy manager Justin Burnell, now the region's coach, was encouraged to watch a gangly 15-year-old and soon snapped him up for greater things. Warburton was then named Wales Under 16's captain and fulfilled the same role in every age grade side after that. Strangely this is his third world championship as captain, after the Under 19's and Under 20's. “In Sam's case what stands out for me was just his attitude, combined with being an extremely intelligent lad,” said Williams. Whitchurch head teacher Huw JonesWilliams added, “We were commenting on how well Sam had done in his academic subjects, sport is all about the top two inches as well.”

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It was not long before Burnell was alerted. “We had a call about a young, openside flanker at Whitchurch school. We went, watched him play and signed him up immediately,” he remembers.

that.

“Within a year he went from being a good, energetic schoolboy to being a sublime athlete who has never looked back. He had the skill level and physicality of a man, even at 15 or 16 years of age.

“He captained my Wales Under 19's team in Belfast. He is not the most outspoken captain, but he puts his hand up for people to follow. He is a little shy and laid back, but when it comes to the nuts and bolts he is always the first to the fore and does his talking on the field playing from the front.

“He was playing in the Principality Premiership for Glamorgan Wanderers at the age of 17 and ripping that up, so what we see now is the result of that hard work and endeavour to come through. “In the early days he was in the shadow of Martyn Williams, but what a great tutor to have. When you think that Sam is probably in the top three opensides in the world at 22, he is only going to get better. “I can see him being No 1 openside in the world in a couple of years and keeping that tag for at least five years after

“It is exciting for Wales that we have a natural captain in place at 22 and we can just follow that through.

“At age group sometimes the best player becomes the captain. Whether that is right or wrong, it does give the opportunity for someone like Sam who is not the most vocal person and has put him in good stead now. The age groups have had a massive, massive bearing on him becoming our national captain now.” There is a picture at Whitchurch of Warburton being handed his Wales Under 16's cap by Rob Appleyard, now the Dragons defence coach. The Swansea and Wales flanker would also coach Warburton in the Wales Under 20's. “What you see in Sam when you meet him first of all is that he is a grounded guy, a nice person who can talk about almost any subject away from rugby” said Appleyard. “He is an intelligent rugby player – I can testify that I did not think too much in my days as a flanker, but the modern player has to have a tactical awareness. “He is quietly confident. He does not especially seek the limelight or to be the star of the matches, but achieves it through honest and almost effortless work.

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“I first met him in the Under 16's when Sam was the captain of that age group. It has helped him be a young captain of an experienced group of players now. “At the Junior World Championships we had a hard group with France as a tough team to go in against. Some of our tactical points were brought up by Sam in his analysis of the opposition and then delivered as the captain - we were successful in getting out of our pool, finishing fourth which is Wales' best ever finish.” Perhaps all that explains why Warburton appears to have taken the captaincy in his stride, while equally understanding the honour and responsibility. “I thought I might have gone through my career without ever

being captain,” he said on the day his appointment was announced.

Warburton had made himself an easy alternative.

“The first couple of games I was captain I thought it might have been a developmental tool, a stand-in thing. I am really glad Warren has put faith in me for this World Cup.

“We do not expect Sam to say a lot, just to lead by example from the front and put his body on the line,” explained the Wales coach.

“It is a massive honour and the biggest compliment I have been paid. I try not to let it affect me too much. I try to be the same person, prepare for the game in the same way. If I think about it too much it might affect the performance, if I keep the performance on the pitch then hopefully the rest will follow.” Gatland has pinned a lot of faith on his young skipper, the only out-and-out openside in the squad. While Matthew Rees would have led the team if fit,

“He is articulate, very, very intelligent, with all the attributes that we are looking for from a young player in the way he prepares both on and off the pitch. I think he will do a great job for us.” What is interesting is how much Gatland's comments echo those made by all the others who have been involved with Warburton along the way. He has got where he is thanks to some consistent virtues, no-one expects him to change now.

NEW KITS AVAILABLE NOW VISIT THE STADIUM SUPERSTORE WWW.CARDIFFBLUES.COM/SHOP sportingwales

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Elgan's ESPN Sarra Elgan, rugby reporter for ESPN’s Aviva Premiership coverage, casts her eye over the prospects for the coming season

Which Welsh players should Aviva fans be watching for? There is a fair few in the Aviva at the moment including established welsh stars as well as a couple of youngsters that some might not have heard of yet. I think Andy Powell will have a bit of a point to prove as he turns out for Sale this term after being shown the door by Wasps. I think Sale will be good for Andy, and his rugby. They are an ambitious club now. Which player is the one to watch this season? I think early season will be interesting when the big boys are away (at the world cup) the youngsters will play. And if Owen Farrell can continue last year’s form he'll certainly be one to watch. You've also got players like Luck Narroway who will be desperate to prove his omission from England's world cup squad was a mistake. Will Saracens retain their title? I don't know - they certainly looked the part towards the end of last term. They're trying to establish a winning culture there so if they can make winning a habit like the likes of Leicester have done over the years - why not? They seem to be building something special at the moment. broadcasting sportingwales

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Which team has the most to prove this season? I think a number of teams would've been disappointed with last term - Newcastle and Sale obviously would have wanted more out of last season but maybe Wasps would have expected better from the squad they had. For a club with their rich tradition and pedigree to not finish top six must be frustrating. How would you rate Worcester’s chances of staying up? Its always difficult coming up from the championship to the Premiership but they've been there before. I'm sure they will come back having learned a great deal. They've signed a number of new recruits in the off season, called upon the services of a world class defence coach in Phil Larder and have big pre-season matches that will test them so I'm quite excited to see what they've got. If they hit the ground running and get a good start I fancy them to do ok.

What has it been like being on the road with ESPN? I have loved every min of it. It really doesn't feel like work at times. All the ESPN team get on really well, the banter is great and the Premiership clubs have been brilliant to us. What is the best game you have commentated on? There's been a few. This year’s Premiership Final was great, exciting until the very last second. I've also enjoyed the derbys and the grudge matches this year - Gloucester and Bath at Kingsholm and the Saracens v Northampton's battles are always worth the admission free.

Sarra Elgan is rugby reporter for ESPN, which broadcasts live coverage of the Aviva Premiership. Watch live and exclusive coverage of Bath v Exeter on 17 September and Saracens v Worcester on 18 September. For details visit espn.co.uk/tv


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Lloyd Burns

Burns on fire

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SWFacts Lloyd Burns DOB 29th December 1984 Birthplace Panteg Wales Caps 3 Position Hooker

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Is the 26-year-old hooker's rapid promotion from Principality Premiership to starting against England at the Millennium Stadium a sign of the system failing - or the system working? Did he slip through the net or get caught by it? The case Against is that an obvious rugby talent disappeared from view after playing for Wales Under 16's and then made it back to the top level thanks to luck rather than judgement. A late developer was failed by rugby academies making early and inflexible decisions.

Lloyd Burns going from working on a building site to the Rugby World Cup in under 18 months is one of the fairytales of the whole competition – but it throws up an even more interesting question.

The case For is that the Principality Premiership and regional system provided the route back for someone whose crucial change was the switch from back row to hooker – a decision which has taken him to the Rugby World Cup, but which needed to be honed at Premiership level first. Whatever the reason, Burns was just delighted his chance came. “Eighteen months ago I was on a wet bricklaying site in Bristol, up to my knees in muck and God knows what, just slogging it out really,” he said. “You always think to yourself you can do better, but you are hoping and praying for an opportunity. I have obviously proved I am better than where I was 18 months ago, so now it is onwards and upwards. “There are definitely others like me. The Premiership is a good stage for young players and there could be many more to come through from there to play international or regional rugby. “I was one of those who slipped through the net I guess, I am not sure why. I played my Youth rugby at Pontypool, until recently there were not a lot who had come from Pontypool but now there is myself and Toby Faletau.

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“The switch to hooker was made there, but then at Cross Keys coach Greg Woods put a lot of work in with me so that made the difference really. I was lining up at hooker but still playing like a back row so you get noticed.”

Dragons coach Darren Edwards was also the Wales Under 20's coach last season, so he knows both sides of the coin. “It is a great story from the start,” he admitted. “Particularly at the Dragons we have to look within our region. “From day one when he walked in the door we knew he had something about him just because of his work ethic. The guys coming through the academies are part of the conveyor belt, but Lloyd made it happen. “Out of our first team squad of 38 players, 12 have come through from the Premiership in the last 12 months. “There is a mental game for this, someone like Lloyd knew he only had one chance. Lloyd came here as a physical specimen and as every season goes by I think he will get better and better – he has a huge future.” Burns was on fire at the end of last season, earning his place in the Wales squad and then being in position to take advantage when captain Matthew Rees was ruled out. He won his first cap at Twickenham and then started in the home match against England. “Standing there for the anthem was amazing, especially to start at the Millennium Stadium, but also the week before in front of 82,000 at Twickenham – it was so far from where I was a year before on the building site, I could never have imagined it would happen to me,” he admitted. “ I just worked hard every week, played as well as I could and you are always hoping that someone is watching and you could get picked up.” So the answer to the original question is 'probably both.' Burns slipped out of sight and out of mind with no monitoring, but there was a safety net in place which means the former bricklayer is now building an international rugby career.

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When he left Cardiff to join the club of Dalglish and the Lisbon Lions, many felt he had settled for second best rather than waiting for something in the Premiership.

had not prepared him for what was to come at Celtic Park. Last season for example the Celtic manager Neil Lennon received death threats.

Ledley does not agree with the criticism often levelled at Scottish football that there are not enough good teams and you come up against the same opposition too often. “It is good because you go into matches now and you need to win, a draw is not good enough,” the 24-year-old explained.

“I do not think you realise how big it is until you actually get there. You walk in the city centre and they either love you or hate you because they are either Rangers or Celtic, but it is a great place to live as well,” he admitted.

“You get a winning mentality inside you. Sometimes with Cardiff you would go into a game and a draw would be good enough, that is not the case in Scotland.” Having played in an FA cup final for Cardiff and also the play-off final against Blackpool, it comes as a surprise to learn that going to Glasgow was something of a culture shock for the Wales mid-fielder. He played in South Wales derby matches between Cardiff and Swansea, but these

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“Where I live, I am a little way out of the city and it is not really concentrated on football so it is easy to get away. If you go into the city centre you come across fans and it is nice to talk to them.” Like all the players in the current Wales football squad, Joe Ledley is desperate to help Wales qualify for a major football tournament. “We are looking stronger this time round and things are starting to gel,” said the left-sided midfielder. “It is a bit more professional, things like the recoveries, they are keen on the sports science and all the boys are happy.

“It would be nice to be involved in a major tournament and hopefully we have the players to do so.” There was one recent test of Ledley`s popularity in his home city of Cardiff, when former Ninian Park favourite was in the Celtic team which came down to play Cardiff City as part of the two club`s preparations for this season. His reception as he walked out onto the Cardiff City Stadium pitch showed that the Bluebirds fans are mindful of the part Joe Ledley played in the club`s recent history. “It was fantastic. I did not know what sort of reception I was going to get, I did not know whether there was going to be booing or whether I would get a cheer,” he admitted. “I was very grateful for what they did for me and there will always be a part in my heart where I am going to be a Cardiff fan no matter what.  “It was a big wrench to leave Cardiff. My family is here, my mates are here - it was a big decision, but the club had the chance to offer me a new deal but they were a bit late. I am only getting older and I want to win things.”


Sue Kent took up sea rowing in a bid to get to the Olympics or Paralympics - not that they are planning to race the sleek fours and eights off the coast at Dover, but to help her sports massage CV. Then she found the sport offers all sorts of exciting things - life on the ocean waves, thrilling races, a great social side – but most of all it offers the chance to be involved in a team sport. For Sue has stunted growth in her arms caused by the thalidomide drug, so to be able to play a key role in an able bodied sport such as sea rowing has proved to be much more than a tick on the Olympics application form. “I'm a sports massage therapist and my aim is to get to the Olympics, to be the first person using their feet for massage at the Olympics. To do that I need to work with more sports teams,” she explained, sitting on a bench overlooking Swansea Bay while taking a break from rowing. “A friend suggested massaging the rowers and then getting involved with the rowing as a cox. I always wanted to cox, I was brought up in Henley and wanted to cox the river rowing but you had to be really light and I liked chocolate too much.

“When we had a calm day I started coxing, I was a little worried about whether I could control it, but it is quite easy to do. It was the first time in my whole life that I was part of a team.”

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problem so I have done individual sports, swimming, skiing, a bit of sailing with my husband and I have got a paddle canoe using your feet, so to be part of a team is great for me. “People with lower limb disability can row, but I can hold onto the strings to steer so it is very successful as a cox.

Professionally she works as a massage therapist using her feet, based in Swansea. It is one way of rising above the disability, but then she has been doing that all her life in different ways.

“I came from a sailing family, my great grandfather was the captain of the Britannia racing yacht, cousins are Olympic champions and that sort of thing.

“I went to a convent school where they assumed I would do everything. I was not allowed to be left out, but I could not compete. A lot of other thalidomides were in the Paralympics doing running, but it was not publicised in the same way and people did not know about it,” she said.

“For a person of my disability who has come against it through life, this group are absolutely brilliant. There is no question that I am not valued or part of the team and that has been quite a shock for me – I am nearly 50 and thought I would always be on the sidelines, so it is really good.”

“I played netball and hockey which were a bit difficult, but I was at a school that thought football was unladylike so they banned the one thing I could have done properly.

Sea rowing does not get a lot of publicity, but it is pretty big in Wales around the coast from Mumbles up to Dolgellau, with more than 40 clubs and more than 600 registered rowers.

“Everything I wanted to do was a

Sue Kent

“I said I would love to try and it was very rough, they put me in the bow to

see what it was like, I got soaked and it was very exciting – I loved it.

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When you think of that spectacular coast, the popularity is hardly surprising. There are regular race events, as well as longer challenges such as rowing across to Ireland or the length of the Thames. Sue would love to take part and it should happen, with a certain amount of planning to ensure safety. Then there are the Olympics and Paralympics. “That was the starting point, but it is tough to get in because everyone wants it on their CV. I have taken the right exams and now I am just waiting to see if I get an interview,” she said. “I am the first person in the country, if not the world, to qualify with a level 4 massage therapy diploma using feet, so I have got to earn my position. “I am doing the Tenby Iron Man providing services there and the Swansea 10k, so it just works very well. I have applied and do not care whether it is Olympics, Paralympics or both, I just want to be involved.” While that may have been the catalyst, Sue's ambitions in sea rowing have now taken on a life of their own.

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“I have done about six races now, I have coxed for the men, mixed and ladies. Mumbles are in our first year as a club so we are all learning our skills,” she said. “We have some experienced rowers and some river rowers, but we are keen to expand. “For the races you rock up to some of the most beautiful places in Wales, the boats row out for a start line, the men tend to row five miles, the women three, have a moving start line which is quite aggressive and then round a series of marks on a set course. “If you hit each other then that is just what happens. In my first race we were the third boat piling into some others who were not going as fast, but it is all very good natured. “You have to keep the rowers motivated for the whole half an hour, keep thinking of things to say to keep them going, urging them to overtake. It is very adrenaline driven, even for me – I often need to go for a run afterwards to get it out of my system.

“They do long distance rowing as well – they row down the Thames at the end of the season. Then there is the Celtic Challenge every two years and we are trying to get a team together for next year. “It goes from Aberystwyth to Arklow in Ireland, about 80 miles and 18 hours is the record -the rowing is fine but you get sea sick in the support boat. “The rowers take their lead from the stroke, while the cox and the stroke work together because I can see what is in front. We steer the boats away from harm and there is technique going round the buoys because of the tide, winds and other boats. There is a lot to think about, plus reminding them of their technique and letting them know what is in front of them – telling them how long there is to go and sometimes lying. “It is a hard job and you do not want to be thrown in the water at the end of it. It is about getting the team to work together and having that fluency of rowing.” Sue has yet to be thrown into the water so it must be going pretty well, with bigger challenges to come.


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Tight fit Leading sportswear brand Canterbury may have redefined technical apparel with the launch of Mercury Compression – tight fit garments designed to enhance athletic performance.

The garments also accelerate recovery after sustained periods of exercise by improving the blood flow back to the heart and the removal of lactic acid. It is inspired by use in the medical industry and has been independently tested at Loughborough University and shown to work. Mercury Compression uses graded compression in key zones to aid blood circulation in the lower leg and lower arm. The higher volume of veinous return results in improved warm up time and the ability to exercise harder for longer.

Independent research has proven Canterbury Mercury Compression can reduce muscle soreness by up to 30% following prolonged periods of exercise. This reduction can be attributed to delayed lactate onset promoting a quicker return to training and competition. It is something to try for yourselves and feel the immediate impact. The range in both black and white is available to buy. Canterbury are the official kit supplier to the Springboks and SA Rugby featuring at the RWC and Bryan Habana is a Canterbury Brand Ambassador.

In The Locker Room

Mercury sounds as though it just slips round the body while Springbok wing Bryan Habana is certainly a silky smooth runner who will be using the garments during the Rugby World Cup.

Available in store at Shop Rugby, 8 Duke Street, Cardiff, CF10 1AY or online at www.ShopRugby.com

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Golden Boy Dai on top of the world

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track running

Before there had been time for his success fully to sink in, Dai Greene had a taste of things to come when Sebastian Coe asked to have his picture taken with the new World Champion. The double Olympic gold medallist, multiple world record holder, the man who brought the Olympics to Britain, asking to be pictured with the latest star of British and world athletics – a pretty good definition of new-found celebrity. By winning the World Championships 400m hurdles, Greene joined only Colin Jackson as a Welsh track and field athlete to win a senior, individual world championship. Now he has a chance of joining Lynn Davies as the second Welsh track and field athlete to win individual Olympic gold – meaning he is on the verge of becoming the greatest Welsh athlete ever.

words

Hamish Stuart

pictures

Steve Pope sportingwales

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Funnily there is a strong connection with both Jackson and Davies. Greene started on the serious part of his athletics career when he went to University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, where 'Lynn the Leap' is a former student and current Fellow. “I bumped into him once or twice, he did not teach me but I see him quite a bit on the circuit and he always has words of support for me – he is a really nice guy and a great ambassador for the sport,” said Greene. He is coached by Jackson's former guide, Malcolm Arnold. “Obviously we have a recipe which works so it is just a question of fine-tuning it and I am sure we will get the right result next year. He has never run the hurdles but he is a world class coach, partly because he listens to the athlete as well so it is a good combination,” he added. All this from athlete who was once so overlooked that a picture of him winning a race was captioned about those coming in behind him. As they say, it takes a long time to be an overnight sensation. There was a feeling in Wales that a new star had been born even before the World Championship Final. Swansea City, where Greene had come through the youth ranks, finished training early, Glamorgan extended their lunchbreak, the First Minister Carwyn Jones paused during a major golf press conference – all to be able to watch the race live. From the breakfast television sofa to a long queue of Welsh journalists back in Cardiff, Greene is enjoying the red carpet treatment, with the likes of Ed Moses, Coe and Kris Akabussi tipping him for more gold in London next year. “It is nice being recognised by those guys because they have achieved so much in their careers,” admitted the Llanelli athlete, now based under Malcolm in Bath.

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“Coe presented the medal to me out in Daegu, but he asked for a picture with me beforehand which was very cool. It is nice to be recognised for all the hard work I have put in, that is the way I look at it. “ There were times when other people were looked at as potential medalwinners, so it is nice to get the attention now. I was probably fourth or fifth on most people's list of potential medalwinners going into Daegu, particularly the gold medal.” While his life is changing in terms of recognition and opportunities, he appreciates the way Wales has responded to his success. “I have had so many messages of support as well as Facebook and Twitter, though there are a few people saying they are primary school teachers, who once sat near me in a chemistry lesson, asking if I could go into their school to visit,” he explained. “It is all meant in good spirits and everyone is pleased for me and wants to be involved, wants me to speak to schools, it is a good problem to have, “It is not too bad for me, I am not as soft on the eye as Jessica Ennis so I will never get that many followers. “When people tell you how they showed the race at work or stopped doing something then that is nice to hear. You cannot really get your head round that all these people wanted to watch it.” But as you watched Greene power past some of the most powerful athletes on the planet on the home straight in Daegu, you wonder how that could come from a former footballer with knee problems, then diagnosed with epilepsy. Part of the turnaround was something which sees most people lead a less healthy life, but when he went to UWIC to become a student he found something

which also helped control the epilepsy. “I was diagnosed when I went to the hospital with a seizure, as I get more professional it is less of an issue. As I have focussed more on athletics the epilepsy does not really affect me any more,” he explained. “It was pretty much finding a group and a coach to train with, while there were great facilities at UWIC. It was all together there, if I had gone to another university I might not have made it. “Most people go to Uni to be a bit rowdy, but I had got it out of my system before I went there so I found athletics and things got more serious. “In my first year I went from 53 seconds to 51 seconds, I was European junior silver medallist and thought I wanted to keep doing this – I enjoyed running on the big stage and could not wait to get back into training. “Year on year it got better and better. I fell in with the right crowd so to speak.” He then did a dissertation on the 400m hurdles, the fact he has a greater understanding of the event than any of his competitors certainly does not do any harm. “I was getting better at athletics and wanted to do something to do with the hurdles, so we looked at times of hurdles races of many years ago, collected so much data trying to find strategies and performance indicators. It helped me to understand a little bit more,” he said. “I had already become European Under 23 champion so I was already at a certain level, making the squads at senior level, so it interested me more than anything else I had studied in the previous three years. “I learned a lot about the event, reinforced some things and learned others I did not know. We found a few


performance indicators which I use in training, so I do pay attention to that work. I don't suppose my competitors have read it, it would not make them run faster. “The technical side is underestimated because when you watch a world final you see the guys who are the best at what they do, but there is a huge difference between them and someone who could be just as fast but not as technical. “There are 150 strides in the race which you have to get spot on. If you think there are 40 strides in a 100m sprint and probably only the first 10 of them really count, but for us we have to be spot on for every take off and landing.

difference to the result, but if I am too close to the hurdle taking off then that will cost me two tenths of a second. “That is one of the things for me that I am technically very good, whereas the other guys might be faster or stronger but not put together such a smooth race.” While Greene may have surprised some people in Daegu, he will be the favourite in London, as long as he can get the balance right between training hard and keeping injury free. “I would love to get the Olympic title next year. Obviously I am top of the pile at the moment so technically I just need to stay there, but it will be a lot of hard work between now and then,” he admitted.

“I would love to win that title, it would be a dream come true, even better than this. I have to try and up my training load and improve on a few aspects, while trying to make sure I do not break down. “It is a fine line, but I have been good at staying the right side of that line so far and hopefully I can do it for another 12 months. “I have a really good coach who will not let me get carried away. We work as a partnership together, he has a lot of experience but he has never run the hurdles before so he has to listen to what I am saying on a day to day basis.” It is a good mix, meaning there is a beckoning greatness for Greene.

“If I had dropped two tenths of a second somewhere that would have made a huge

First Minister Carwyn Jones takes time out from a golf press conference to cheer on Dai Greene on TV. Joining the celebrations are R and A representative JR Jones and European Seniors Tour chief executive Andy Stubbs.

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Rising Stars keep feet on the ground If a mercurial talent such as Mark Ring thinks you are one of the most exciting players around, then that is a verdict to make people sit up and take notice. Certainly people have been taking notice of Ospreys outside half Matthew Morgan and now he has earned one of the monthly SportingWales Rising Star awards. He was honoured along with table tennis player Charlotte Carey and swimmer Ieuan Lloyd at a special awards ceremony at the Village Hotel in Cardiff, with the backing of partners Sport Wales and the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. “It is good, after all the hard work you have put in, to be recognised at the end of it. It makes you want to keep working hard to get more recognition,” said Morgan, after receiving the award from UK Women's basketball coach Damien Jennings.

Rising Star Awards

“It all goes down to that work and being mentally tough so that when you go on the field you play what is in front of you.”

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“It is important not to let it go to your head, just keep your head down, knuckle down and keep playing well. “That comes from playing week in week out. You can train as much as you want but when you are actually playing that is when you get better and then better again.

“We had the team gold in the UK School Games and I got the bronze in the individual, but I feel I could have done a bit better there.

“I change walking across the white line to go onto the pitch, you have got to switch on. I get really nervous before the game, then when you are out there on the pitch you have to knuckle down.

“Getting more international results is the next target. Having been selected for the Olympic long list that means I am one of eight, but I have to improve my international results to get a place on the team.

“The ambitions are to play week-in, week-out for the Ospreys and take it from there.”

“Even a reserve place in London would be great, but I am trying to get a medal in Glasgow at the Commonwealth Games and compete in the Brazil Olympics as well.”

Carey was featured in the last edition of SportingWales, but has continued her success since then.

That is probably the key to Morgan's talent and why he excited so many people by harkening back to a bygone age of Welsh outside halves who were pretty good at playing what was in front of them. There is a lot of pressure on young shoulders, he has another year with Wales Under 20's, after making such as impression in last season's Six Nations. “My ambitions are to play for the Ospreys, get more game time with them and then take it from there,” he says.

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“It is good to be recognised. There are so many other young ahtletes doing well it is nice to feel one of them,” she said.

Matthew Morgan and Charlotte Carey (front) with Sport Wales Institute manager Brian Davies, Rachel Lloyd and UWIC Dean of Sport Dave Cobner.


WRTH GALON Y TÎM CENEDLAETHOL

AT THE HEART OF THE NATIONAL TEAM

Holl gemau Cymru yn fyw ar S4C gyda chyfleoedd ychwanegol i weld yr holl gyffro.

All of Wales’ matches live on S4C with added opportunities to catch all the action.

+ Cyfres adloniant rygbi Jonathan +Adroddiadau o galon carfan Cymru

+Rugby entertainment series Jonathan +Reports from the heart of the Welsh squad

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sailing

cycling

Clywedog are top dogs The first ever North Wales OnBoard sailing festival got off to spectacular start, with Powys club Clwedog coming out on top. There were 78 young sailors out on the water in Bala, the biggest ever turnout of sailors from all over North Wales, some of whom had only been sailing for a few days before the event. “It brought tears to me eyes to see 14 of the club members’ faces when it was announced that Clywedog sailing club, near Llanidloes, had won the best club overall at the event,” said Matt Osborne Hill, the OnBoard coach for Powys. “This event has brought a great deal of confidence to all sailors at the club bearing in mind some had only been participating in the sport for a number of days. “They are now excited to be competing in the next event which is the Welsh Youth Championships at Pwllheli in late September.” After coaching sessions on the Saturday, the racing took place on Sunday with Clywedog sailors accumulating more points than any other club in the friendly festival.

News

The scale of the event was far greater than had ever been held before in North Wales sailing, with the OnBoard scheme designed for all levels of sailing experience and ability.

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James Guinan and Chelsea Jackson CH Bala SC & CH Llyn Brenig SC, 1st Main General Handicap Fleet. Picture Lawrence Chadwick-Smith.

Riding the Divide Two Cardiff cyclists took on an amazing trek across North America, just under 3,000 miles from Canada down to New Mexico in what is arguably the most challenging mountain bike race on the planet. Simon Harling and Greg Phillips, from Elite Fitness, completed the ultra-cycling challenge to race self-supported along all 2,745 miles of adventure in 27 days to raise thousands of pounds for Marie Cure Cancer Care. There were 88 cyclists who started the race, with only around half finishing. "One fellow fell off a bridge and got washed away in the whitewater, one guy came off his bike and ended up in hospital with a fractured eye socket. The average day was about 12 hours so a lot happened," said Harling. “The hardest part was the fact that it was such a slog, in a sense that you would just see the same scenery all the time. It was just the fact that it was so continuous and you never got anywhere that fast." Go to JustGiving.com/ride-the-divide to donate.


Busy Lizzie Takes on Spain and Portugal for Team GB. Cardiff Gymnast, Lizzie Beddoe has been selected to represent Great Britain in a forthcoming gymnastics competition. The 2011 Women’s Artistic Gymnastics International Event see’s team GB take on Spain and Portugal in Ipswich. The event which takes place on the 20th and 21st of August is also the second trial for the World Championships, which is a precursor to London 2012. Those teams at the Worlds that finish in the top eight will automatically qualify for London 2012. Beddoe, who is 16, then flies out to Romania less than a week later, to take

part in the Romanian Womens Artistic Gymnastics Championship. As Romania are medal contenders for the Worlds this event will prove a tough test for Beddoe, but the gymnast remains un-phased, preferring to focus on the experience, “I am just delighted to have been selected for the GB team and to gain valuable experience in my first year of being a senior,” said Beddoe. Jo Coombs Head of Performance and Excellence at Welsh Gymnastics said, “It’s great to see Lizzie being selected for team GB especially as this is her first senior year, she can take confidence from this selection in her ability to perform as a senior.”

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Eat, Sleep, Play, Tweet. These days many sports professionals’ comments and opinions are easily followed via many social media platforms, particularly Twitter. We asked Paul Shuttleworth, Head of Employment law and member of the Sports Law team at JCP Solicitors to explain more:

his tweets themselves are not standard footballer fare either and he regularly delves into psychology in the content of his tweets.

Alan Pardew commented “if you criticise the owner, the masseur, a player, anyone at the Club in fact, it’s in breach of Contract”. He added “we have notified the players, they probably see it as another sort of dictatorial moment from us. We have had to issue them The use of Twitter has seen many legally with a letter to say this is not footballers fined by the FA for criticising right, it is a breach of Contract and referees as well as Kevin Petersen in they have to understand that they are trouble for questioning the methods going to be fined and disciplined for it.” of the selectors when dropping him from the England cricket team. He pointed out “the problem with Twitter, we need to get hold of this. Recently Joey Barton (pre his transfer We have got nothing from the Premier to Queens Park Rangers) fell foul of his League on how to deal with this.” then employers Newcastle United FC, over comments he made on his private This indeed is an interesting comment twitter account. The Football League’s given that some of the higher profile Chief Executive Richard Scudamore has players on Twitter (Rio Ferdinand recently commented “the whole Twitter for example) have hundreds of thing is interesting; I encourage Twitter thousands of followers and therefore with a caveat that players realise that once these thoughts are committed they are talking into a microphone” to print and the “Tweet” button is pressed they are broadcast instantly Barton’s case is an interesting one to huge numbers of followers. as he is a prolific “tweeter”, and for a footballer who has over the years The use of social media tools such attracted more than his fair share as Facebook or Twitter presents of adverse publicity, he has a huge commercial and marketing opportunities for sports businesses following (over 517,000 followers),

Main Office Venture Court Waterside Business Park Valley Way Enterprise Park Swansea SA6 8QP sportingwales

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and higher profile individuals, but these opportunities also come with a potential downside, if the information which is being blogged, tweeted or released on these forums is damaging to the reputations of others. It is a new hazard that sporting organisations are facing in the 21st Century.

JCP Solicitors can help organisations and clubs to prepare social media policies for their members and employees. For more information please contact Paul Shuttleworth on paul.shuttleworth@jcpsolicitors.co.uk or 01792 529636 or follow him on twitter @employment_sol ! For more information on the services provided for organisations and individuals by the Sports Law team at JCP Solicitors, please visit www.jcp-sports-law.co.uk

West Wales Office Landsker Business Centre Llwynybrain Whitland Carmarthenshire SA34 0NG

T: 01792 773 773 F: 01792 774 775 law@jcpsolicitors.co.uk www. jcpsolicitors.co.uk JCP Solicitors is the trading name of John Collins and Partners LLP


the next step for the development of the players is to get them playing for local Rugby League teams as well.”

National triumph for Newport school Stefan Sankala, a PE teacher at St. Joseph’s RC High School in Newport has won the National Teacher of the Year Award in Rugby League from the sport’s governing body, the RFL. Stefan was presented with his award the day after the St Joseph’s Year 8 Rugby League team he coaches were crowned national champions. St Joseph's RC High School defeated Temple Moor High School of Leeds 38-28 in the Year 8 national final at the Twickenham Stoop.

Mark Jones, the National Development Manager for Wales Rugby League said: “On behalf of everyone at Wales Rugby League, I would like to sincerely congratulate Stefan and his team on their recent outstanding success in winning the Champion Schools at Year 8 level. “I would also like to congratulate him for winning the Wales Teacher of the Year Award and the National Teacher of the Year Award in Rugby League. “I wasn’t surprised that the school won the title, as they have an exceptional squad which I have watched develop over the last two years.

Stefan Sankala said: “I was on holiday when I received the confirmation that I had won, it was a bit of a shock and I was quite humbled by it. “I played Rugby League at student and academy level and introduced the sport into the curriculum at St Josephs in collaboration with Wales Rugby League. “The school have successfully been playing the sport for about five years now and with it being on the curriculum everyone gets the opportunity to play Rugby League and the students really enjoy it. “We entered every age group in the Carnegie Champion Schools competition and we’ve learnt from every team we’ve played against,

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cycli ng

L u ke c yc l R o w e h e amb r ac e s n as his e it ion y o a n d w t ha t e s s e t o As m joine he h u i n c re c h a s a as a n t he w da p ro f dible o c Pro es ult im , at e d for a B r sio n a l c Tour hieved rld's big ont r itish re a m ge s t t eam a lif e ac at ac hi The e ve d h l e t e l i k t o n a m t i . m 21-y a e . e s Ro w s 's e a rOlym e , h i ve g l o old p

ba is t w w ill o - ye l s i d e w ped a ou e a l r de d a a A nd lo llis t a l w l d h av e Tho a nd ng sid e h it h T mas Tour l i ke i s e am been B r d e F g re at f Sk y m a r r a d l e y W e c ko n s R r r i a is t h e n ce at h o e st ar, nd from n r a i g g i n s a ow e w i l C a rd for t ce . nd E l fit h if in d v ar e ne Te am d B o l i ke a g x t t w f G e r ain l ove t a s so o ye D ow S k y a l s o n Ha a ar s . Thom a s ning i ge n , mong s t , t he plus nclude s ot he w ho Olym B riti r w S pe a T s o h p o n tw ic sil k o s t a ur d e Fr ve r m n a t i o n a l Tho ing in I t an ge s o ro a d ed al mas aly b f t hi ce s t a r s ist a r ace s aid , e for si n ce s n c d e ye a r " It h he w wo r th 's ld t r a m pion s a s a 's g r e a t i s m o n t a yo u n for h J e re ck c h 's T " I gr m h i g o m a y u k m . r Hu id fo e pion r t hi H e t hor of B r i t a p ro w u p c y S t ev n t a n d s. ough in , w cling te am e C u m Ru s s e l ly de h wit h s in l ming t he se r v ic h p a s s L u ke s. w e e Af te s or ld d s i o t t h a nd it r t oge h e' s r o u g h C it t a be ing w t her is quite wo r a ke s ." it h T str an ke d e r p h i l l y t o es boy. ge t h h a rd , t abli e am B ar a t we s h yo lo w ill u r s e wo r l d b b e in l f in e " We one a P r fore jo i w of t h o To ning a s h e i l l we l c ur sq e big t he ome wo r S ge s t u k a y r id him ks h d-e a rd w e s r p h s eci a en h , a nd " We T ho lly w e i s co a he n m a s k n m m i a r r i ve s t o s t re n o t o yo u a nd t ted ju s t ar t p a re t w s w h a he w , I am go i n e r fo t h i g e ne l l su re r min t s w g mi o sign h he w oon be " He r ac le im o p has i ll be a s nac s. H w ill fine , r t of t he e is b e t h ow n a l � s ai de fin ontr ac t , h e re re ad d Th te am . A y itely th ju s t om a s lon t o p t h at h e i n t h e n t h ro s. g l ay a h e be w hi st pl m in te am a s a t ale a nt an ce fo ro l e word r his d e x pe w i t h a nd he s G c t hi w ill c a re us an ary B m de er. d he aker l p e v ve l o p t h at b u e r yo pictu res ne o t firs Stev ut ." t of e Po all , h pe e ld m

Luke Rowe

i c go

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Rowe has set his sights on the massive mountains and theatres of cycling's biggest stages - the three races which make up the Grand Tour. There is the Tour de France itself, which is a bit of a way off yet, and also the Giro d'Italia (Tour of Italy) and Vuelta A Espana - the Tour of Spain. The Cardiff youngster said, "To ride a Grand Tour race in the first two years is realistic and after five years on the team, I want to be one of the better riders there. "If you don't want to win races or succeed, then you are doomed to failure. You see a lot of people get a pro jersey and just go swanning around in it. "You have to set yourself goals and look beyond the immediate future. You have to be ambitious."

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Even before joining the team officially in October - he is going to have a holiday with his girlfriend in Turkey first - Rowe has already been placed on the London Olympic Games 'long list' but feels there is no chance of getting a road race spot there. So, with his realistic hat on, he said, "Just to be on the long list is an honour ,but 2016 in Rio is more of a reasonable goal. So I am going to set my aim at that and get there." He is still trying to keep his feet on the floor now the secret of his deal with Team Sky has been signed, sealed and delivered, providing the chance to become another of Britain's cycling greats.


"There were a couple of team who wanted me to sign," said Rowe. "But it was an easy decision to make to go with Sky." As for riding with his old mate Thomas the pair have a silver medal together after coming second in the British Madison Track Championships in 2009 - Rowe added, "I've known him all my life and trained with him as a kid. "To now be part of the same pro team as him is brilliant and great for Welsh cycling and Welsh sport. "Welsh Cycling at the moment is stronger than it has ever been. We have our first Pro Tour rider from Wales in Geraint and, on the Under-23 scene, between me, Sam Harrison and Jon Mould, who are all in the Great Britain squad, we have three of the best,� said Rowe. "Then, as far as the juniors are concerned, you have people like Dan Pearson coming through who is National and Welsh Junior champion.�

SWFacts Luke Rowe DOB 10th March 1990 Birthplace Cardiff Discipline Road and Track Racing Rider Type Endurance

Rowe has already got a number of proud notches on his belt. He teamed-up with Thomas in 2009 to get a British National Track Championships silver medal in the Madison - which should really be called the 'Mad-ison' given the nature of the crazy relay event. He went on to win the British Madison title twice in the years after that silver, riding with two Isle of Man partners who

are friends of legendary Mark Cavendish Mark Christian and Peter Kennaugh. And he added a silver medal in the European Under-23 Track Championships in the Scratch Race this July, finishing behind Italian Davide Cimolai in Portugal. On the road, Rowe was silver medalist in the European Championships in 2008, and has won three big Under-23 European races in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He also came across the line in front on Stage Seven of the German Under-23 classic, the Thurigen Rundfahrt in May this year. There was one other big achievement back in October last year as well. That was riding for his country in the Commonwealth Games, which he hopes to do again in the 2014 Glasgow event. "Glasgow will be a massive goal," he said. "Riding in India with Wales (2010) was so special and it meant so much to me. "I am always riding for Great Britain and there has never been much opportunity to ride for Wales. I am a patriotic guy so to ride for my country was very special. "I was 20 in India and, in Glasgow, I will be 24 so I will be going there to win some medals, for sure." That is where Rowe wants to be - among the best - and he is giving it his best shot to sprint to the line and join his mate Thomas at cycling's top table sportingwales

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Ieuan making a splash It has been quite a year for 18-year-old Ieuan Lloyd. 12 months which have led to the Cardiff talent being mentioned in the same breath as his role model and fellow Cardiff City swimmer, David Davies, and a year which has rapidly turned him into the golden boy of Welsh swimming.

Ieuan Lloyd

Sarah Mogford caught up with him at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man to find out just what a talent he is.

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After claiming two gold medals at the European Junior Championships for GB in July, hopes were high and the pressure on for the swimmer with size 16 feet going in to the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man - and he certainly rose to the occasion.

Brought to you in association with


words

Sarah Mogford

pictures

Steve Pope

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“I’ve had a really good meet. It was great for the team, the swimmers especially, to get a gold medal on that first night of competition. And then to go on and win the 4x200m relay with the other boys and be able to sing together on the podium was a great experience.” ‘Really good meet’ is a slight understatement. Lloyd travelled back to Wales as the most adorned welsh athlete with five medals to his name, three of which were gold, a silver in the 100m freestyle and a bronze in the 400m freestyle just to complete the collection.

It’s almost unthinkable to consider what could have been if he was at his peak. The question of London 2012 and competing at a home Olympics is almost an inevitable one and something that Lloyd has most definitely considered. “For me London 2012 is definitely a hope. It’s going to be difficult, the individual places will be very hard but there’s a possibility that I might be able to sneak on a relay team.

“There are lots of training camps coming up to try and get up to MATT the Olympic qualifying standard in March 2012 - it is my target but if I don’t make it, it won’t be the end of the world. I’m still HOPEFULLY WE WILL HAVE ANOTHER young, Rio 2016 could be my turn.” “Doing it for the team in the relay was the best one. It was such OF IEUAN INboys ACTION SO ADD IT an excitingPICTURE race to watch and I was conscious that the other hadn’t yet won a medal so it really spurred me on to help them get one.” IN A BOX HERE ALONG WITH THE REST OF Even moreTHE impressive is that Lloyd didn’t go into the Games in TEXT But asking which of his medals gave him the most satisfaction gave a clue to the swimmers selflessness and sheer team spirit.

top form;

“I wasn’t fully fit but we had some great physiotherapy support in the Team Wales camp and I was able to fully prepare for each race and perform well.”

YOU WILL NEED TO PDF THESE PAGES AND SEND THEM TO STEVE TO GET APPROVED STEVE@SPORTINGWALES.COM

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Ieuan’s talent was spotted at the tender age of five when he went for trials for Cardiff City Swim Club. He’s been there ever since and having Dave Haller as a coach and training with Olympic and Commonwealth medallist David Davies is obviously the right formula. “I’ve got everything perfect for me at the moment. I live right near the pool and have got great trainers and Dave is a great coach; it’s all quite perfect. I also get to train with my role model, David Davies. He’s a local boy and a good friend of mine. I’m from Cardiff and he’s from Cardiff, hopefully I can follow his path and get to the Olympics.” And David Davies talks just as highly of his training buddy, “You always knew, even from a young age, that Ieuan was going to do really well. I first heard about him years ago when Dave Haller said he was one to look out for.

“When he was about 13, Dave was holding him back because he didn’t want him to peak too early. Unlike me, he’s a brilliant all rounder – he has four very good strokes and he can break records over all sorts of distances. “He has a fantastic physical aspect, he has a good feel of the water, he’s very good technically and, the best thing is, he loves racing in any situation. He thrives on it which is his biggest strength.” ‘I’ve been lucky enough to see him progress from the age on nine through to European Juniors and the Commonwealth Youth Games where he’s come home with golds. He’s in a good club, he has a great coach, he has the family support and he’s got a good attitude. He’s really talented and I can’t wait to see what he does next!”

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From eBay to Chevrolet, Cameron on road to success

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words

Maxine Ashford

Cameron Davies is proving to be quite a sensation in the rallying world, voted the best young rally driver in Britain thanks to a car bought on eBay, but he is not even old enough to hold a full driving licence. While most 16-year-olds have just received their GCSE results and are wondering what the future holds for them, the Llandovery teenager seems to have it all mapped out. His passion for the sport began as a spectator at Rally GB watching stars such as the late Colin McRae and Richard Burns racing past and then, when his father Geraint, 43, took up the sport, Cameron became fully hooked. “My dad raced for about five years some time ago and I knew immediately that’s what I wanted to do,” said Cameron. “Now he’s living the dream through me.” But unlike many other drivers Cameron did not have any karting experience – they were simply a father and son team who bought old bangers on eBay and did them up as best they could. However when Geraint noticed an advert on the internet about junior rallying for 14-16-year-olds everything was about to change.

“It was a 36-mile route on private land as the competitors are not old enough to drive on public roads. I couldn’t believe it – I expected to come towards the back of the field, but came second.” Unlike many other competitors who come from wealthy backgrounds and arrive in their smart new cars with a full back-up team, Cameron relied totally on family support and his tried and tested Nissan Micra which was bought for a few pounds on eBay and then fixed up to race. The second race took place at Anglesey and Cameron went one step further this time by winning the event to become the youngest driver in the UK to win a stage rally - still just 14. The following year Cameron went on to win the Championship and despite struggling with the maintenance costs and relying heavily on his family to get him to and from the

Cameron Davies

“I signed up to the Junior Formula 1000

Championship and went to my first real race as a 14-year-old in Wigan,” said Cameron.

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nationwide locations, the up-and-coming star was beginning to get noticed.

And with Chevrolet’s support came a lovely new car for Cameron to race in – a Chevrolet Spark 1.0-litre.

“It was difficult because there is quite a bit of money involved with buying the car, maintaining it, transportation costs and lots of hidden extras. My family have been fantastic and they transport me everywhere and are so enthusiastic and supportive – I couldn’t ask for more,” he explained.

“I knew nothing about Chevrolet’s backing. I expected to be racing for my third year in my 1994 Nissan Micra, but then was told about the sponsorship and new car,” said Cameron.

“That year I was nominated for the title of UK Young Rally Driver of the Year 2010 at the World Expo Show in Cologne, Germany. It was an amazing event and I couldn’t believe it when I won the title.

“I’ve only raced a few times in the Spark and we are still fine-tuning everything. It takes quite a while to learn all about the under-steer and over-steer in a different vehicle. It really is a sharp learning curve.

“The trophy was presented at a gala dinner in front of 900 people involved in motorsport. I had to speak about my achievements on stage in front of everyone – I was so nervous.” It was this success story that made its way back to Chevrolet, who decided to get involved and take Cameron under their wing. Chevrolet MD Mark Terry said, “Chevrolet has a long standing reputation for supporting youth talent. Cameron is clearly a very talented young man and a great ambassador for the Chevrolet brand. “We wouldn’t be supporting him if we didn’t believe he had the talent to make it to the top of the sport.”

“It’s a brilliant car which offers amazing handling and certainly ticks all the boxes for a Formula 1000 car. “Also they have taught me all about fitness and diet – how to look after my body and basically how to develop more confidence in myself. I’m constantly meeting new people and experienced professionals. “The car is run by XS Racing who prepare the car for every race – it’s an incredible arrangement and I feel part of a truly professional team set-up. I’m even learning about basic mechanics so I could fix the car on the roadside if necessary. “In addition, I have a sponsor in Nicky Grist who helps by supplying some of the kit.” Cameron will be improving his knowledge about his chosen career path during a two-year diploma in motorsport based at Myerscough College, Preston, combined with a part-time course at Loughborough which involves learning about handling the media, sponsorship, psychology, diet and plenty more.

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Cameron’s father, Geraint Davies, said, “We’re very, very proud of him. He’s done extremely well in such a short space of time and has the talent to go all the way to the top. “My wife Tracey won’t watch him race – she is just too nervous, but we are working on that.” And granddad, Douglas, 68, added, “I come along and support whenever I can and I’m extremely proud of Cameron.” Cameron will be too old to compete in the Junior Championship next year, so will be racing against adults in the British Rally Championship, but first things first – he must pass his driving test, which he aims to achieve in the next few months. So, it would seem the quietly-spoken teenager is a star to watch out for and he is certainly aiming high with his ambitions. “I want to become the World Rally Champion and the first Welsh Rally Champion in the process,” he said.


d e t u b i r t s i D s e l a W g Sportin rners of Wales o c l l a o t

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Brought to you in association with

Ffion Price on her way to a gold medal in the Womens 1500m.

JUNIOR COMMONWEALTH GAMES TEAM EXCEL words sportingwales

Sarah Mogford

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The Wales team of Ellena Jones, Sian Morgan, Siwan ThomasHowells and Chloe Tutton who won a bronze medal in the Womens 4x100m Freestyle Relay.

The future of Commonwealth sport in Wales is looking bright after an outstanding display of talent saw Wales finish fifth in the medal table at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games. Coming home with a staggering 26 medals from 31 sports, Team Wales’ Chef de Mission Chris Jenkins said; “Team Wales have put on an outstanding performance here at the Commonwealth Youth Games and I am extremely proud of each and every one of the athletes. We’ve shown that Wales can compete at the highest level of sport and threaten sporting giants like New Zealand and South Africa.”

“Bringing back 26 medals from a team of just 31 athletes demonstrates just how well everyone has performed and not just athletes. Credit must go to the support networks and coaches here at the Games and back in Wales, who have prepared them to compete so well. It’s been a genuine Team Wales effort.” After a successful Youth Games in Pune 2008 where the likes of Jazz Carlin, Georgia Davies and Jemma Lowe racked up the medals for Wales the pressure was on to emulate their success in the Isle of Man, and as Jenkins explains the team of 2011 certainly rose to the challenge. “In Pune 2008 we finished sixth in the medal table with 16 medals which was seen as a great result. Our challenge for the Isle of Man was to support a team that could outperform those results and we’ve done so, and then some.

Youth Games

And Jenkins was keen to emphasise the ‘team’ in Team Wales;

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“When athletes compete you ask them to do their best and even those that didn’t come away with a medal outperformed themselves; picking up personal bests and welsh records. We had a number of agonising fourth place performances that on another day would have been medal winner, but that just goes to show the strength and depth of the team and shows real promise for the future.” And even before the closing ceremony for the Commonwealth Youth Games takes place, talk has already begun of the next step and the senior Games in 2014; “The athletes that have performed here at the Youth Games have done so because of their potential to claim Welsh medals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014 and beyond. Combine these stars of the future with existing and proven athletes such as

Carys Mansfield on her way to silver in the Womens Javelin.

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Jazz Carlin, Geraint Thomas and Sean Mcgoldrick and it makes for an extremely exciting prospect. “Wales is unusual in that Sport Wales and the Welsh Government have aligned sport’s performance strategies to delivering medals at Commonwealth Games, if we continue with that policy over the next two cycles we’ll see Wales position in the medal table continue to rise.” So as the curtain closes on the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games, all eyes will be on the likes of our gold medallists and stars of the future Ieuan Lloyd, Angel Romaeo and Ffion Price to bring home the same success in Glasgow 2014 as they have in the Isle of Man.


GOLD

Ieuan L

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200m F

reestlye

Ieuan L

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Ffion Pri

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1500m

Angel R

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Athletics

Individu al AllAround Gymnas tics

Ieuan L lo Oliver Te yd nnant Lewis S mith, Dan Wo ods

4x200m M Freestyle ens Relay

SILVER Calum Evans

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Ieuan Lloyd

100m Freestyle

Carys Mansfield

Javelin

Sara Lougher

50m Breaststroke

Owain Doull

Road Race

Elinor Barker

Criterium

Raer Theaker

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4x200 Girls Freestyle e Trial

Cycling Girls Team in Tim

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Girls Gymnastics Team

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Mitch Bu

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Elinor B

arker

Time Tria

l

Sian Mo

rgan

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400m F

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Harry Ow

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4x100m Owain Doull with his silver medal won in the Mens Road Race.

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Youth Games Calum Evans puts in an heroic effort to win silver in the Mens Light Heavyweight boxing.

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Event Wales International Conference November 24th 2011 Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Cardiff, Wales, UK

Cynhadledd Ryngwladol Digwyddiadau Cymru 24 Tachwedd 2011 Coleg Brenhinol Cerdd a Drama Cymru, Caerdydd, Cymru, DU For more information and details on how to register, visit: I gael rhagor o wybodaeth a manylion ynghylch sut mae cofrestru: www.eventwalesconference.wales.com


SportingWales Issue 18