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Meads wins Club of the Year

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Squash Club of the Year: Meads Squash Club

Squash Club of the Year: Meads Squash Club

THE WALES SQUASH AND RACKETBALL annual presentation evening was held recently at the Angel Hotel in Cardiff.

One Pembrokeshire club received its fair share of awards. Meads Squash Club, who run out of Milford Haven Leisure Centre, for the first time ever a Pembrokeshire club received the WSRB Squash Club of the Year award. The club was against the largest clubs in Wales and were selected eventual winners not only for the work they undertake at the club but also the help and support they show to other clubs within the county and the work they carry out within the local community.

The club has worked hard over the past three years to achieve a player pathway out of the county, not only for club players but for any Pembrokeshire player to enjoy. They now have five teams playing league squash in Pembrokeshire, South Wales and in the Welsh Premier Divisions.

As well as a player pathway, the club have put into place a coaching pathway and, again for the first time ever, Pembrokeshire has regular coaching courses being run in the county at the club from Leaders, Level One and the first Level Two coaching course run this year.

As well as coaching at the club, the coaches go out into the community on school and club visits, giving children within the county the opportunity to have a go at the sport using portable rebound walls. They are also active with disability sport and again using the rebound walls, they have run a series of sessions with the Lets Get Active Milford Haven group whose participants achieved the club’s Green Squash Skills Award this year.

The quality of the coaches coming from the club has not gone unnoticed; for the third year running, a coach from the club has received an award at the WSRB presentation evening and, this year, Alfie Wheeler received Young Coach of the Year – a fantastic achievement at 16. Alfie has also completed his UKCC Level 2, which shows the level of support the club gives to their coaches.

On the junior front this season, the club has 25 attending regular coaching sessions only limited by the number of courts. Out of these juniors, the club have a number who play within the adult leagues through to premier division; six juniors attend the WSRB Academy training programme, four attend the WSRB National Squad training programme, four juniors were selected to play in the English inter counties and two juniors have received the Young Coach of the Year award this year.

Not limited to juniors, two of the club’s adult players received Welsh representational caps this year. James Walters, Manager of Milford Haven Leisure Centre, represented Wales in the home nations over 50s held at Aberdeen, whilst Nick Dyer, Headmaster at Huberston and Hakin junior schools, represented and captained the over 45’s side in Cardiff this year.

The club also received the WSRB Silver charter award this year for running good policies, procedures and practices at the club, including ensuring all coaches are DBS checked and have undergone safeguarding courses. The club is also working towards their insport ribbon award.

Pete Crook, Head coach at the club, commented: “It has been quite a year for the club and receiving the Club of the Year award is a fantastic achievement, knowing the size and quality of the other clubs throughout Wales within the category. This shows testament to all the good work being carried out at the club and beyond and by a lot of people behind the scenes.

“The player pathway has been put together for all Pembrokeshire players to enjoy the highest level of squash on offer in Wales, whilst the juniors have surpassed our expectations. Not forgetting the most important part for myself, the coaching pathway the club have put in place, this really is the backbone and the only way clubs can remain sustainable in the future. I am proud to be a part of such a dedicated group of people who have achieved so much in a short period of time.”

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Sport

Preseli poses a challenge for novice crews

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THE END of April will see the popular novice night rally organised by the Teifi Valley Motor Club being held in Pembrokeshire. On the weekend of 27th and 28th April, Rali Bro Preseli will see 75 novice crews tackling the winding and challenging roads that Pembrokeshire has to offer.

Clerks of the Course, father and son Richard and Jason Davies along with Aled Richards have a terrific route lined up for competitors. Starting as usual at the Crymych Mart, the route will appeal to all novice drivers and navigators.

“It will offer a bit of everything. It will be challenging but easy to follow with some whites thrown in the mix. Aled has designed the whole route and we’ve done the donkey work,” said Jason, now in his second year as Clerk of the Course.

As regular competitors, Jason and Richard wanted to give something back to the sport and they enjoy being on the organising side of the things.

Jason, who won the Bro Preseli with his father in 2013, explained: “We’ve competed in the Preseli on several occasions, and we decided to give something back to the sport and that’s why dad and I thought it would be a good idea to help.

“It’s interesting to see how it all comes together and the work involved, and there’s a lot of that,”

He also won the event with Tim Hand in 2016 and was fourth overall in 2019.

Aled Richards, Joint Clerk of the Course, knows the routes of Rali Bro Preseli like the back of his hand having only ever missed it once since its formation in 2003. He’s driven on four of them in 2005 – 2008 with the best result of a 4th place with Arwel Jenkins in the navigator seat.

Aled has been Chief Marshal on Rali Bro Preseli since 2013 before moving on to being Clerk of the Course this year and competitors can look forward to a great event.

Aled told the Herald: “This is the first time I’ve been Clerk of the Course, but we have a good team with Dylan Davies as Chief Marshal and Olwen Davies as Secretary.

“I live some 30 miles away from the actual route, but we’ve been around it twice and I’m confident it will be a good yet challenging night. Some of the whites are currently waterlogged but the farmers have been brilliant and offered to help clear the tracks before the event and we are very grateful.”

The rally, kindly sponsored by Arjay Factors and Home James Taxis, will have four official Spectator Points on the night and the locations will be available at signing on.

The Clerks of the Course and the Teifi Valley Motor Club would like to thank all those who have helped to organise the event – landowners, homes en route, petrol at Brian Llewellyn a’i Ferched, and the start and finish venues – Crymych Mart and the Teifi Waterside Hotel.

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Sport

Herbrandston Clinch Promotion to Division One

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Following a one all draw Tuesday night away to Narberth it confirmed Herbrandston’s promotion to the first division. An amazing achievement for Manger Leigh Galdo and his assistant Timmy Roberts. With a young team and after losing quality players over the summer it’s safe to say promotion wasn’t really ‘on the cards’ for Herbie in August.

On paper nobody would have expected Herbie to challenge at the top of the league. However they started the league as they meant to go on, with an outstanding unbeaten run, which made everyone quickly realise they were not to be underestimated. Galdo has done an excellent job in developing not only a young team, but the players as individuals who’ve matured as the season has developed. While they will enjoy promotion they won’t be relaxing too much as they still hope to lift the second division cup at Bridge Meadow.

Herbie’s boss however found some time in his busy schedule to reflect on promotion and the season to date.


‘Promotion wasn’t really on the radar when we sat down last summer and assessed the situation. With a mass exodus of first team starters, a full rebuild looked on the cards.

However the players we have in this years group are nothing if not resilient. A great start to the campaign meant we had put ourselves in contention early, 13 league games undefeated up to Xmas proved that we had enough to at least contend. There were certainly some tough test in the new year but all of them learning opportunities and a chance for this group of players to grow and mature as a team.

I’m a firm believer that through adversity, that’s where the real development can happen and it certainly seems that way with us at the moment with many of our young players now looking battle tested.

Humbled and armed with those lessons we’re looking now to finish the season strong. Back into the 1st Division has been the club’s ambition now for quite a few years and after finally achieving that after many close seasons in doing so we can turn our focus to trying to add some silverware in the 2nd Division cup.

A very tough task with the quality of teams left in the competition. But a challenge we embrace and look forward too. We’ll stay in the fight to the very end and see what destiny awaits us. ‘Up the Pickles’’

Congratulations to everyone involved in the club on promotion. A club that’s setup off the field and at junior level really deserves division one football. We also wish Herbie the best of luck for the cup too.

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News

Micky Beckett, Pembrokeshire’s Olympic hopeful, wins big in Palma!

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Micky Beckett, the pride of Solva and a stalwart of the British Sailing Team, once again etched his name in the annals of sailing history with a resounding victory at the Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma last week, marking his third consecutive triumph at this illustrious event. The 29-year-old maestro showcased his dominance in the men’s dinghy class amidst stiff competition from a formidable fleet of 193 boats, clinching the title with a day to spare.

His gold-medal feat spearheaded a triumphant campaign for the British contingent, as John Gimson and Anna Burnet secured bronze in the Nacra 17 category, while the rising star Matilda Nicholls clinched her debut senior-level medal, a bronze in the ILCA 6 class.

Entering the pivotal double points medal race, Beckett held an unassailable lead atop the leaderboard, a testament to his unparalleled skill and unwavering determination. Despite the comfort of his position, Beckett refused to relent, clinching a second-place finish in the decisive race and ultimately sealing victory with an imposing 44-point margin.

Reflecting on his remarkable achievement, Beckett humbly acknowledged the significance of his third consecutive triumph, stating, “I’ve been trying all week not to think about the fact that if I won this event it would be three in a row, but now it’s real and it’s pretty cool.” His sentiments echoed a blend of confidence and humility, underscoring the arduous journey that led to his triumph.

With his sights set on the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics, Beckett exuded a mixture of confidence and determination, aware of the challenges that lie ahead. “All the top guys will be following their own plans to build up to this summer, but I have to say that beating them is a nice confidence boost,” Beckett remarked, encapsulating the competitive spirit that drives him towards excellence.

Despite his past setbacks in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, Beckett remains undaunted, poised to make his mark on the global stage in Marseille, where he aims to transcend mere participation and carve his legacy amongst the world’s elite ILCA 7 sailors. With a European title in 2021 and a world silver in 2023 adorning his resume, Beckett’s journey is a testament to perseverance and unwavering dedication to his craft.

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