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Samson puts his weight behind ‘Don’t miss kick off’ guidelines

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WALES international Samson Lee has delivered a personal reminder to rugby supporters to arrive at Principality Stadium early to avoid missing the kick off when the Under Armour Series gets underway against Australia tomorrow, Saturday, November 11 (5.15pm).

Due to enhanced security at the venue, Principality Stadium will open three hours before matches kick off against the Wallabies, Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa at the home of Welsh rugby – instead of the 90 minutes Welsh rugby-goers will be used to.

The latest security measures also include 100% personal checks at the turnstiles and advice to leave large bags and large umbrellas at home, to avoid disappointment and causing further delay to fellow supporters entering the stadium.

As a bumper crowd is expected this autumn, the WRU has called on the Scarlets prop help tackle the safety and security messaging for the iconic rugby venue, with a WRUTV spoof to remind fans to plan their travel and arrival at the stadium in advance.

The self-acclaimed ‘Brad Pitt in the making’ stayed behind after training to act out scenes filmed at the team hotel and the national stadium to show supporters that poor planning ahead of match day now comes with the genuine risk of missing kick off.

The budding WRUTV star said: “As a squad we are used to working to a strict schedule where everything from our eating, sleeping, training, kit and transport is planned out to ensure the very best preparation for international matches. The filming for the ‘Don’t miss kick off’ video has really hit home how well prepared we are as a team but also shows the consequences associated with lack of proper planning.

“With the enhanced security measures we are becoming accustomed to in the UK, this is an important message for anyone with tickets for the Under Armour Series and supporters need to arrive early for the 100% search regimes, or, like me in the film, they risk missing kick off!

“Ask any player and they will tell you the best feeling in the world is hearing the roar of the stadium crowd during the anthems. We want every single fan in their seats for the start of the match and I really hope this film raises awareness and motivates our supporters to plan ahead this autumn, as well as being a bit of fun!”

While South Wales Police stress there is no specific threat to Cardiff, Principality Stadium routinely works closely with the Police and the Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit to deliver appropriate security measures for major events.

Stadium Manager Mark Williams added: “The safety and enjoyment of supporters on matchday is our top priority and so we have increased the gate opening hours to three hours before kick-off for the autumn international matches.

“This will allow a capacity crowd to pass through the enhanced security checks safely and in plenty of time to enjoy the games and the renowned pre-match build up at Principality Stadium.

“We strongly urge fans to assist us in maintaining a safe and secure stadium by getting in early and leaving large bags and large umbrellas at home to avoid unnecessary delays and disappointment.”

Entertainment

New Radio series on remarkable rise of women’s football

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FROM hand-me-downs to heroes, a new three-part show celebrates the incredible growth of women’s football in Wales

BBC Radio Wales has today announced a new series Iconic: The Rise of the Women in Red, documenting the rise of women’s football in Wales. 

Presented by Jess Fishlock, Wales’ most capped footballer, the series offers an unprecedented look into the evolution of women’s football from its humble beginnings to its current status as a sporting phenomenon. With exclusive access to the Football Association of Wales (FAW), the series features in-depth interviews with prominent figures in the sport, including Welsh captain Sophie Ingle and midfield star Angharad James.

The series delves into the early days of women’s football when players wore hand-me-down kits from the men’s teams and played in front of modest crowds. It tells of the struggles of those who paved the way for the current generation of female footballers, to the present day where thousands of fans flock to stadiums to watch women’s football, and even more tune in to the television and radio coverage.

Jess Fishlock says, “I’m really excited that our story’s finally getting told and people can see how far this game has gone but also what has been sacrificed to get us to where we are right now in the women’s game.”

Carolyn Hitt, Head of BBC Radio Wales says “The series highlights how more women and girls than ever before are taking up the sport – as fans and as players.  It really showcases the FAW’s efforts to foster this growth and support the women’s game at all levels.  Jess Fishlock’s unique perspective and engaging storytelling brings to life the triumphs, challenges, and aspirations of the team whilst also providing a candid look at the professional journeys of these women.”

Sue Butler, Managing Editor, BBC Wales Sport, says “In the run-up to these crucial play-offs for UEFA Women’s Euro 2025, the series is a timely celebration of the progress and potential of Welsh women’s football. It will inspire and energize fans and players alike as the national team prepares for one of its most significant challenges yet.”

This three-part series will premiere on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Sounds this October.

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News

A new era for sport and health tech innovation in Wales

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SWANSEA UNIVERSITY has launched the National Network for Innovation In Sport and Health (NNIISH), a new initiative aimed at transforming the landscape of health and sport technology in Wales.

Led by the University and supported by Swansea Bay City Deal and local health boards, NNIISH aims to accelerate the growth of sport tech, med tech and healthcare innovation in the Swansea Bay City Region by bringing together local, national and multinational expertise.

NNIISH is set to be a constantly evolving, collaborative partnership between academia, industry and the NHS.  Its aim is to strengthen existing partnerships and forge new alliances, attracting talent and encouraging investment in order to boost the local economy and make Swansea a global leader in medical and sports technology innovation.   

Professor Keith Lloyd, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science told Herald.Wales: “We are excited to introduce NNIISH, a groundbreaking initiative dedicated to enhancing sport and wellbeing across Wales and beyond. By fostering a community across sport, health and technology, we aim to drive forward innovative solutions that will revolutionise the sector.”

Anyone working in sports-tech, med-tech or healthcare who would like to be part of the NNIISH vision –to transform the landscape of health and sport technology in Wales – can sign up to the NNIISH mailing list now.  

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News

Pembrokeshire teenager to represent Wales in Golf – again!

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JEMMA NAND-LALN, a talented 16-year-old golfer from Tenby, has once again been selected to represent Wales in the Wales Schools squad. This marks the second consecutive year Jemma will don the Welsh colors, a testament to her skill and determination on the golf course.

Jemma will compete against the England Schools team at Stoke Rochford Golf Club in Lincolnshire in early September. This opportunity comes as a significant boost for Jemma, who has recently recovered from major surgery over the winter. Her selection also follows her recognition as the top girl player in Dyfed for 2023.

Her journey reflects not only her personal resilience but also her unwavering commitment to the sport she loves. Jemma’s family, friends, and local supporters are all thrilled with her accomplishment and will be cheering her on as she competes at the national level.

Jemma Nand-Lal’s story is an inspiration to many young athletes, demonstrating that with hard work and dedication, overcoming obstacles and achieving great success is possible.

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