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Mardle magic entertains the crowd

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DARTS superstar Wayne ‘Hawaii 501’ Mardle rocked into Haverfordwest on Friday (Feb 9), accompanied by Darts lead referee Richard ‘Little’ Ashdown for a Charity extravaganza at Haverfordwest Cricket Club which attracted over a hundred spectators to the benefit of two local charities, The Catrin Vaughan Foundation & Belles Story.

Raised in Romford, the die-hard Tottenham Hotspur supporter Mardle is also a keen ‘recreational’ golfer who also enjoys most sports. He plays poker on the Grovesnor Poker Tour, reaching the final table recently in finishing seventh whilst in his younger days he was a BMX stunt rider before darts became his life.

A well rounded, witty and respectful ‘mine host’ Mardle’s family plays a key role in his life and he has taken the opportunity to co-author a book with Ian Spragg, about the ups and downs in his life, entitled ‘Hawaii 501 – Life as a Darts Pro’. Wayne brought to the stage his charismatic performance and was loved by those fans present at the evening, co-ordinated by Lee Chenery and Craig Jones.

Lee exclaimed: “Just listening to Wayne on stage, you had to chuckle about his inquisitive and engaging mantra and why he remains so popular across the world, as he is one of the faces of darts, the second most viewed sport after Premier league football”

Mardle, known worldwide by his ‘Hawaii 501’ nickname, was joined as master of ceremonies by ‘Little’ Richard Ashdown, the Head British Darts Organisation Referee. His entrance to the Oche saw him draped in a floral Hawaiian shirt, shaking his hips to his catchy theme tune from the 1980s US TV show Hawaii 5.0, which sparked a response with the crowd jumping from their seats.

In ‘calling the board’ Ashdown engaged the audience to take on Mardle in 1:1 games on stage.

Fundraising for the two nominated charities was fundamental to the evening and leading the way was DJ Wayne Lewis, who rumbled the tunes and stage managed the ‘walk ons’ for those lucky enough to tackle Mardle in the head to head games.

Lewis, alongside local arrow enthusiasts, Shaun ‘Devsy’ Devonald, Gareth Jones, Tom Wray, Gareth Starling, Anthony John, Richard Prout, Marcus James and Chris Harris were unable to lower the flag the man who first played the game at eleven, won his first tournament at thirteen and reach number 5 in the world before suffering ill health.

Winners are grinners: Local player Jack Bevan with Wayne Mardle

The honour of victory fell to Stephen Jones, Anthony John and Jack Bevan, where Mark Morgan, Paul Hughes, Scott Nash and Michael Osborne were also called to the oche by Ashdown after winning the raffle draw to play Mardle who made his debut on the BDO circuit in 1993.

From this debut his nickname ‘Hawaii 501’ was established after he wore a Hawaiian shirt on the oche, for a bet.

Mardle made his first appearance at the BDO World Championships in 2000, joining the PDC in 2003 and reached four semi-finals, before illness forced him to retire.

Craig Jones sparkled in his thanks to those who supported the spectacular night, the Wolfscastle Country Hotel, Pembs Paints, Heatherton, Folly Farm. Gareth Bicknell, Drew Whelton, Cher Excell, Lost Coins, Jamie ‘Fireball’ Lewis and Haverfordwest Cricket Club.

He added: “The show was brilliant, with everyone enjoying the wisecracks from Wayne and Little Richard, joining in the spirit of the evening. It was the little things which made it happen, like Hayley Francis-Owens for scoring the games on the screen; Pembrokeshire certainly benefitted from the night, with the Belles Story and the Catrin Vaughan Foundation the real winners.”

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Welsh Government Rural Affairs Minister congratulates this year’s award winners

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EVERY nominee for this year’s Lantra Cymru Awards scheme has demonstrated their commitment to lifelong learning and maintaining the highest standards across all areas of working, Welsh Government Minister Lesley Griffiths has said.
The Minister has thanked and congratulated all this year’s award winners as well as the training providers who had nominated them.
The Minister said: “The Lantra Cymru Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the commitment and passion of individuals across Wales. A huge well done to all the nominees, winners and training providers for all of their hard work including to increase efficiency and introduce further innovative ideas into their ways of working.”
Leading Welsh agriculturalist Mr Peter Rees, chair of Lantra Wales, presided over this year’s selection panel, which included Kevin Thomas, Director of Lantra Wales, Dr Nerys Llewelyn Jones, founder and Managing Partner of Agri Advisor solicitors and agricultural Health and Safety expert Brian Rees, a former chair of the Wales Farm Safety Partnership and a Farming Connect farm safety mentor.
Mr Rees said that the Lantra Cymru Awards was always one of the highlights of the annual Welsh farming calendar, adding that it was testament to all the industry’s rural stakeholders, including colleges and training providers, that despite the current economic challenges within the industry, they had again identified and nominated many outstanding individuals.
“The Lantra Cymru Awards scheme, now in its 28th year, rewards the lifelong learning achievements of the many workers who, through their significant skills and abilities, contribute not only to farming but to the wider rural agenda in Wales, our rural economy and to the communities where they live and work.
“Each nominee’s clear commitment to continuous professional development and achievements within the environmental and land-based sectors, is doing so much to maintain professional, up to date standards within our industry.
“Each one of them is making a significant contribution, not only within their own particular area of working, but to the sustainability and modernisation of Welsh agriculture long term,” said Mr Rees.
Farming Connect is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra Wales and funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

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Funding boost on offer for local sports groups

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INVESTING in grassroots and community sport has led to more than £300,000 being accessed by local clubs in 2022 and this year it could be your chance for a share.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Sport Pembrokeshire helped 55 sports clubs receive a share of £335,388 from Sport Wales via the Be Active Wales Fund grants system last year.

In 2023 there are grants available for a variety of schemes or activities including coach education courses, essential items of equipment, new team start-ups and developing ‘on field’ activities.

Examples from last year include a Sea Cadet unit receiving £16,522 to buy a new safety boat as well as powerboat and safety boat courses, a table tennis club that got £700 for two new tables and a local football club accessed a grant of nearly £8,000 for training courses, balls, bibs, cones and goalposts.

Graham Willcocks at Trefloyne Junior Golf Academy, said: “The grant we received from the Be Active Wales Fund got us off to a flying start. We didn’t have much in the bank so it was a massive leap for us when they provided all the equipment we needed to get youngsters starting to play golf.
“With the support of Alan Jones at Sport Pembrokeshire, it was easy, with a straightforward application process and a really fast turnaround. Without that grant we wouldn’t be anywhere near where we are today.”

Sports Development Link Officer at Sport Pembrokeshire, Alan Jones added: “We would love to hear from any clubs and sports groups, large or small, to see if we can help access some grant funding to support community sport, and encourage people to get in touch.”  

Any sports clubs interested can find out more about the grants from Sport Pembrokeshire and the Sport Wales websites.

Email sport@pembrokeshire.gov.uk for more information and to tell the team about what your club needs and what you would like to do.

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Wales supporter from Pembrokeshire dies in Qatar during World Cup

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A WALES fan has passed away while following his team with his friends and family at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

Kevin Davies, a 62-year-old from Pembrokeshire, has sadly died while in the Middle East with his son and some pals to witness Wales’ first World Cup campaign since 1958.

The Pembrokeshire Herald understands that Mr Davies died of natural causes on Friday but he was not at the stadium to watch Wales’ 2-0 defeat by Iran.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office confirmed it was “supporting the family of a British man who has died in Qatar”.

His family is being offered UK consular assistance.

The Wales Football Supporters’ Group said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Kevin Davies, of Pembrokeshire, who sadly passed away in Doha yesterday.

“The Red Wall are a family and we are here for you.”

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