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New fitness instructor proving to be ‘an inspiration’

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Tina Mathias (centre): Teaching an aerobics class at County Hall as part of Mental Health Week

A NEWLY qualified fitness instructor is proving an inspiration to her class.

Pembrokeshire County Council employee Tina Mathias took her first indoor cycling and aerobics sessions recently and few of her students would have realised it capped a meteoric transformation in her life.

Gone is the unfit and overweight woman who could barely muster the energy to exercise; today, Tina is a dynamic and motivating lady with a fabulous story to tell.

Indoor cycling, or spinning as it is more widely known is one of the most popular exercise classes throughout Pembrokeshire’s seven leisure centres but Tina’s first experience of it wasn’t quite as pleasurable as it is now.

It lasted ten seconds before she walked out vowing to go back when she was fit enough to do so.

Before: Tina before her weight loss journey

When she returned twelve months later, the instructor didn’t recognise her. Tina was half the woman she was having overcome health scares and heartbreak to lose 12 stone.

“I spent most of my life overweight and gained more weight after my father died,” she said.

“I was comfort eating; drinking upwards of three bottles of wine a night.

“I put on a stone over the weekend of my mother’s birthday celebrations. It was getting out of hand.

“That was it. I felt awful and was ready to change my life.”

After a very frank and honest talk with a very close friend, who basically told Tina she needed to sort her life out, she then, three days later started her healthy lifestyle and she was on her path.

A self-confessed ‘all or nothing type of person’ Tina met the challenge head-on.

She cut out alcohol, limited her calorie intake, began an exercise regime and the weight soon fell off. Nothing could hold her back, not even an illness that left her housebound for six months unable to exercise

“Physically it was quite tough but mentally it wasn’t,” Tina added.

“I returned to the gym after my illness in 2012 and gradually increased what I was doing”.

“I started spin classes and loved it straight away. Then I tried other things such as circuits, weight training and with the encouragement of Jane Richards at Fishguard Leisure centre, I tried their Go-Tri triathlon series”.

“I haven’t looked back since.”

Despite trying numerous activities Tina enjoyed spin classes and weight training the most.

From going to spin once or twice a week, it soon increased to six and became apparent she had what it takes to become an instructor.

“I spoke with the instructors who encouraged me to go for it. I had to attend a few training sessions before undertaking an exam.

“I was the only one taking it that didn’t work in a gym but I obviously did enough to pass. In fact, the examiner, who was six months pregnant, enjoyed my session so much she wanted to join in!

“Hearing that was a huge confidence booster, to know that I could do it and do it well.

“I just can’t wait to teach more classes now.”

Pembrokeshire County Council Leisure Services Officer Gary Nicholas believes Tina is an inspiration.

“Health and wellbeing, whilst can be challenging, should be about fun and enjoyment and I have little doubt that Tina will play a key role over the years to come,” he said.

“Tina’s journey has been truly phenomenal and it fully demonstrates what can be achieved if you put your mind to something.

“Tina is the type of role model that we value at Pembrokeshire Leisure and we hope that she will be able to inspire others as she joins our team of dedicated instructors.”

Tina’s tip for weight loss:

  • Do it for you and nobody else
  • Always focus on the end goal
  • Write a note of what you eat. Losing weight is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise
  • Don’t be afraid. No-one will judge you in the gym because we’re all in it for the same reason
  • Enjoy it.
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‘Multiple serious injuries’ after Haven Hotel incident, say police

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POLICE arrested a man who caused “mayhem” in a Milford Haven pub on Sunday evening (Mar 17).

Police said that a male suspected of causing “multiple serious injuries” had been detained, but the investigation was ongoing into reports of serious violence. Milford police were assisted by officers from Tenby in tracking down and arresting the suspect.

A witness told The Herald that a man, who was not a regular customer of the premises “went mad” – knocking an older drinker, a gentleman, off his stool – punching the licensee in the head – and breaking the arm of a barmaid.

It is not known why the man acted violently in the premises, and it is understood he was not known to the management or other customers.

The witness said: “I saw three or more police vehicles outside The Haven – maybe five officers – there was a lot of confusion. The suspect in the case has already fled, but was later found and arrested – possibly in another pub nearby.”

“I saw one injured person, a female, being treated in an ambulance.”

A police Twitter account posted: “Police have responded to an incident last night at around 8.15pm where multiple people received serious injuries. Police were on scene at Hamilton Terrace quickly and the suspect was arrested. The investigation is still ongoing.”

“Code B response team would like to thank PCSOs Brown and Osmolak for staying on duty to assist and also to the attending Tenby police officers for providing resilience.”

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Milford Waterfront development promoted at prestigious international property event

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MILFORD WATERFRONT was one of six Welsh projects to be showcased by the Department of International Trade at MIPIM, an international property event.

Part of Wales’ first property portfolio, which is worth £1.19 billion, the Milford Waterfront development is being recognised as a leading investment opportunity in Wales, with a focus on the development of a 10,000m² indoor immersive digital experiential leisure attraction.

The Milford Waterfront development represents the ambition of the Port of Milford Haven to significantly increase visitor numbers to Milford Haven, both drawing on and supporting the thriving tourism industry in Pembrokeshire, by developing a leisure-led, mixed-use destination that significantly expands the facilities and assets surrounding the existing 300-berth marina.

Neil Jenkins, Development Director, Port of Milford Haven commented: “Being acknowledged as one of the leading developments not only in Wales but in the UK is an incredible recognition for Milford Waterfront.

“This is a bold project but one that we are passionate about. It forms part of a wider business strategy to diversify into new markets and create new economic opportunities not just for the Port but for the entire region. We have a fantastic opportunity to revitalise the marina and docks and create a unique destination that Pembrokeshire and Wales can be proud of and we are excited to be showcasing that at MIPIM.”

The event took place in Cannes, France between March 12 and March 15.

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Residents ‘let down’ over new Jameston homes

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38 NEW homes could be built in Jameston, Tenby, if approved by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park’s officers.

Members of the Park’s Development Management Committee gave their support for delegated approval to be given and there were no less than 31 conditions attached to the application.

The new homes could be built on land opposite Bush Terrace but there were objections from residents and Manorbier Community Council.

Cllr Phil Kidney raised concerns about the affordable homes being built on a separate part of the site to others saying it would create a ‘them and us’ situation.

He went on to state his unease with the plans and said the residents felt ‘very let down’ by the National Park.

Objecting to the plans, Mary Sinclair said: “Planning notices were not seen, if they were seen, they were not there. Nobody saw a notice advertising this application.

“The National Park doesn’t have a policy to prevent these being sold off as second homes. The proposal is also contrary to Welsh Government’s policy on farmland.

“In 2017, a replacement system was introduced which has to be used. This is the best and most versatile land and should be protected for future generations.

“The wall crossing the site cannot just be moved, it is part of the landscape. We would be left with a stark line of homes with no childrens playground, no safe walking route to school.

Where is the well-being of future generations? There are no solar panels, the gardens aren’t large enough and this project is building over land with the highest protection possible.

There has to be an extra-ordinary reason for you to approve this.”

Applicant Harry Thomas responded to some of the points raised saying: “The application is presented as it is. We don’t have the scale and size to build affordable homes and sell them off.

“We will be using a smaller developer, using local trade.

“Jameston will not see 38 new homes built in the next 12 months. We have been working on this application with the National Park for many years. To go at a fast pace would be far worse.

This allows us to create more work in the winter months.”

Cllr Kidney then read out a letter from Mr Ray Hughes, chairman of Manorbier Community Council.

He stated that many issues had not been considered fairly and that over 30 members of the public attended a meeting discussing the application.

Mr Hughes also spoke on the Government’s policy to encourage children to walk to school adding that a footpath should be installed.
Cllr Tony Wilcox said he found it ‘difficult’ how there was no section 106 agreement towards a footpath to the school but an officer stated that a footpath could be installed in the future.

Cllr Mike Evans questioned what affordable housing was adding that these new homes would be social housing which would be rented out by a registered landlord.

Cllr Kidney then gave his own views on the application saying: “There is a lay-by in front of Bush Terrace and there are going to be two entrances.

“I have got no problem with the development, the stone wall has been a big feature of Jameston. This is creating a development with affordable homes separate to the others. That is just creating a them and us situation and that is a big fault. The affordable housing should be integrated in.

“There is a lot of concern here. There is no problem with space so I don’t know why we need to encroach. We could make bigger gardens, this is about giving everybody a fair crack at the whip. There is a lot of discomfort about it, the residents feel very let down that none of the points raised were considered. It is not fair on them but there is not a lot we can do about it and I want to state my unease with this development.”

When it was put to a vote the committee were unanimous in giving delegated authority for the plans to be approved.

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