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Celebrity chef to race Ironman

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celebrity chefBRITISH CHEF Gordon Ramsay will be taking part in this year’s Ironman Wales, on Sunday September 14, 2014.

Ramsay’s confirmation to race in Tenby follows the success of his first Ironman experience at the World Championship in Kona, Hawaii in October last year.

There he proved that he is not only a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen, but also physically and mentally as an IRONMAN athlete finishing in an impressive 14:04:48 for the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile marathon, despite the soaring temperatures and windy conditions that Hawaii is notorious for.

That experience will put Gordon in good stead for the event in Wales, as it is reputedly one of the toughest on the European circuit. Staged in the heart of Tenby, the surrounding countryside not only provides a spectacular setting for this ultimate challenge, but its phenomenal atmosphere rivals any other Ironman event.

Whilst the course may push the boundaries for the athletes with its 1,750m of climbing combined with unpredictable Welsh conditions, the support of the crowds and electric atmosphere is what the event has become renowned for.

On commenting why he had chosen Ironman Wales as his next challenge, Ramsay said, “When I was growing up in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Tenby was a destination for our family holidays which I have never forgotten. I have happy memories of the beautiful beaches and amazing scenic backdrop and am looking forward to now racing there for the first time at Ironman Wales.”

Ramsay will be up against 2,150 athletes taking part in the event, with 322 in his male 45-49 category. Last year the top athlete in this age group finished in a time of 10:16:03.Kevin Stewart, Managing Director for Ironman UK and Ireland commented: “We are delighted that Gordon has chosen Wales for his return to Ironman racing. We know the athletes love the demanding course, in part because the public turns out in huge numbers to support all the athletes. We look forward to welcoming Gordon and all our athletes to Pembrokeshire in September.”

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Health volunteers thanked for incredible support

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THERE’S no more fitting time than National Volunteering Week to say thank you to all of the volunteers within Hywel Dda University Health Board, management have said in a press release.

‘Volunteering for Health’ is the Hywel Dda UHB’s volunteer service and has covered the three counties of Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire for the past 11 years.

During this period, volunteers have carried out 376,000 hours of volunteering and in 2019 carried out 56,000 hours.

At the start of the year prior to COVID, 400 registered volunteers were providing a range of services to support patients and improve their experience whilst in hospitals, these include; library trolley service, shop trolley service, pharmacy runners, meet and greet, patient befrienders, gardeners and many other roles.

Lisa Gostling, Director of Workforce and OD said: “Volunteers are an integral part of our service and it’s hard to think that only seven months ago we celebrated the 10th anniversary of volunteering within Hywel Dda together at Bronwydd Hall.

“It’s important at this moment in time to recognise that some of our long standing volunteers can’t be with us and we look forward to welcoming you back to the organisation soon.

“And also to recognise those volunteers who have changed what they do to support our patients during these particularly difficult times.

“So I want to just say thank you. Thank you for your commitment, your generosity and your kindness. I look forward to seeing you all soon. Take care and stay safe.”

David Fretwell. Volunteering for Health Manager, added his thanks for the overwhelming response from volunteers old and new to an unprecedented situation: “This year has been unprecedented for the volunteer service with the onset of the COVID pandemic and has dramatically affected the way we have involved volunteers.

“We had an amazing response from the community wishing to help us through volunteering with over 600 offers of support.

“To help manage the numbers of people offering to help we set up a ‘Volunteer Pool’ and are extremely mindful where we can place volunteers for their safety.

“We have now deployed volunteers to support the health board’s transport department as drivers; we also have gardeners, virtual volunteers and drivers delivering food parcels from food banks to some of our most vulnerable patients in the community.

“We appreciate the fantastic support you have provided prior to COVID and through the pandemic. Thank you for your incredible support.”

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Inflatable kayak group rescued by the Coastguard

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A GROUP of people in an inflatable kayak had to be rescued by the Coastguard on Saturday (May 30) evening.

HM Coastguard Dale said they were “very lucky people”.

They had been exploring to the north of Skomer Island when they got caught in the tidal race of Jack Sound and ended up off Gateholm.

A passing Dale sailing vessel helped them to the Little and Broad Haven Lifeboat team before they were transferred to Angle RNLI to navigate Jack Sound.

The casualties were received by HM Coastguard Dale at Martin’s Haven and given safety advice.

The group had no lifejackets on and were not wearing wetsuits, despite the cold water.

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Hart defends a tweet police boss says is incorrect

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WELSH Secretary Simon Hart has defended a tweet accused of being incorrect by a chief constable.

The MP for South Pembrokeshire and West Carmarthenshire told The Herald that he had simply been quoting Dyfed-Powys Police Chief Constable Mark Collins when he said people in Wales were allowed to travel up to 15 miles to exercise.

Mr Collins later said people should not drive to take exercise.

Hart told MPs he was “quite surprised” to hear Mr Collins’ response.

Welsh Government guidelines on lockdown restrictions say “exercise should be undertaken locally – as close as possible to the home”.

They continue: “In general this should not involve people driving to a location away from home for this purpose.”

Last Friday Mr Hart tweeted: “Fascinating to hear from Wales’ four police chiefs today, and the commissioners too, especially on what’s permissible under lockdown.

“Consensus was that travelling 10-15 miles from home to fish, play golf, surf or exercise is fine – subject to all other distancing requirements”.

However responding to questions from MPs on Thursday, Mr Hart said “the reference to 10 to 15 miles to travel to play golf or fish was actually Chief Constable Mark Collins’ own words – not mine – and not disputed by anybody on that call”.

He told the Welsh Affairs Select Committee that he was “quite surprised” to then hear that the comment he tweeted was “interpreted as being incorrect”.

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