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Swimmers warming up for Welsh Championships

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY SWIMMING (PCS) are in the final throws of preparation for the Welsh Championships, due to be held at the National Pool in Swansea, between Friday (Mar 30) and Monday (Apr 2).

PCS Assistant coach Sam Jones took the opportunity to break the training schedule to undertake a Question and Answer session with his young charges, allowing them to focus on the task before them but also reflect on the progress they have made since joining the County Squads.

 

Tom Webb

Club: Haverfordwest Seals

National Performance Squad: Aged 17

Favourite stroke: Breast stroke

School: Pembrokeshire College

Favourite subject: Studying for a Level 3 Diploma in Sport

Training commitment: “I attend three morning sessions (6am – 7:30am) during the week and between 7am and 9am on a Saturday. For four evenings a week I am swimming in tow hour blocks. On top of this I do five sessions of land training a week, for 40 minutes and attend the Strength Academy Wales sessions.”

 

Grace Thomas

Club: Milford Tigers

Academy Squad; Aged 10

Favourite stroke: Butterfly and back stroke

School: Broad Haven Primary School

Favourite subject: Maths

Training commitment: “On waking up I also spend time stretching before enjoying breakfast usually porridge. If I am training in the morning I have a piece of toast and a drink before I leave for the pool and then have porridge when I come home, often with croissants before heading to school.

“In the evening I do homework and always try to relax, chilling on my IPad. Until evening training before eating well and reading before going to sleep.”

What to do like doing to relax when you aren’t swimming: “iPad, reading, gymnastics or if it’s not raining, going on my trampoline.”

What are your future ambitions in swimming in Pembrokeshire County Swimming: “I would like to get into the Performance squad in Pembrokeshire County Swimming. My future ambition is to get into the Olympics.”

 

Toby Price

Club: Tenby Dolphins

Junior National Squad: Aged 12

Favourite stroke: “Freestyle is my most successful and generally my favourite race. However, I’m beginning to improve all my stroke improves and now enjoy backstroke and butterfly more and more.”

School: Greenhill

Favourite subject: PE, Maths and Science.

Training commitment: “I Set my alarm at 4:30am and get up by 4:40am. I leave the house by 5am, eating breakfast in the car and trying to focus on the training ahead by listening to ‘wake up music’!

“I train from 5:40am to 7:30am, returning to get to school for 8:20am, where I can have time to eat a hearty breakfast. Evening training is from 7pm to 9pm at Tenby Leisure Centre, after which I enjoy a healthy cooked meal before heading to bed for 10pm.”

What to do like doing to relax when you aren’t swimming: “When I’m not swimming. I like to play on my PS4. I also play football for Tenby u12’s and Pembrokeshire County Schools.”

What’s been your most memorable experience when swimming with Pembrokeshire County: “I really enjoyed the Carmarthen Gala at Christmas. I felt that the positive training methods of the county pathway showed in my racing. It was also a fun gala with a good atmosphere and I also got to take part in relays, alongside my team mates, which l love.”

What are your future ambitions in swimming in Pembrokeshire County Swimming: “I would like to progress up through the county squads. I also aim to continue improving my strokes and my times. I hope to qualify for the nationals this year.”

 

Henry White

Club: Haverfordwest Seals

National Squad: Aged 13

Favourite stroke: Back stroke and the 200 metre Individual Medley

School: Sir Thomas Picton

Favourite subject: Georgraphy

Training commitment: “I train every weekday, sometimes twice a day. Occasionally I train on a Saturday morning too. This amounts to 14 hrs a week. I wake up at 5am to be at the pool for 5:40am. I have some cereal before I leave my house, then train for 2 hours and before walking to school. I have another breakfast at school!

“After school I walk to the leisure centre to have a pre training snack, stretch in the gym before doing onto the pool deck for another two hour swim session. I refuel with my main meal of the day, rehydrate before settling to sort out academic tasks and prepare again for the followings days schooling, hopefully being ready to sleep around 9pm.”

What to do like doing to relax when you aren’t swimming: “I enjoy playing FIFA 18 on the PS4 and going outside on the trampoline.”

What’s been your most memorable experience when swimming with Pembrokeshire County: “Getting into my first national final in the 2017 Welsh Winter Championships. It was in the 200 metre Backstroke.”

What are your future ambitions in swimming in Pembrokeshire County Swimming: “I would like to get into the Welsh National Squad and represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games.”

Sport

Johnston Reserves win nine goal thriller

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Division 5 promotion chasers Johnston 2nds visited bottom of the table Cosheston 2nds in what should have been a routine victory for the visiting team.

On a pitch that looked like it had cattle grazing just a few hours previously, both teams started in an attacking fashion with the young Johnston forward line causing no end of trouble for the experienced Cosh defence.

In a game that could have gone either way, Cosh took an early lead through Rhys Griffiths, before a succession of chances were missed for both teams.

Johnston were playing well and their equaliser came in the 25th minute after good play by Alfie Crawford, who was using his pace to create havoc across the front line. Johnston took the lead a short time later through Crawford, after great work by the experienced Ashley Bevans and went further ahead a few moments later.

3-1 at half time in a highly entertaining game.

The second half started as the first half had finished, with both teams going for an all out attack mentality, and Cosheston got themselves back into the match in the 52nd minute and their constant attacking, combined with a little uncertainty in the Johnston defence, saw them equalise in the 53rd minute.

At this stage, the scoreline was 3-3 but could easily have been 6-6 and that was added to even further just a minute later, when Johnston retook the lead through Pete Donnelly!

Some game at The Playing Fields!!

Johnston made a tactical change with a view of firming up their defence with Squashie coming on for Liam Brown, and he made a positive impact ensuring the defence was communicating more, making it more difficult for the Cosheston strikers.

The visiting team scored two late goals to finish as 6-3 winners, but the game was exceptionally entertaining and on another day Cosheston would easily have come out on top.

Cosheston have had a tough season in many ways, but it was lovely to see the club stick together, and with some players coming back from injury hopefully they can build on this year and have a better season next.

Johnston continue to be a threat to all teams and now hope to push on and gain promotion.

Huge credit to both clubs for playing in a respectful manner throughout and referee Marty Jones praised both clubs in his post match Facebook post.

A credit to Pembs Div 5, good luck to Johnston in their promotion push.

Cosheston 3-6 Johnston.

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Scarlets great Jonathan Davies awarded testimonial year

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IT has been confirmed that Scarlets, Wales and British & Irish Lions centre Jonathan Davies has been awarded a testimonial year.

‘Foxy’, as he is popularly known, has played 209 games in a Scarlets jersey over 16 seasons, making his debut for the club against Northampton Saints as an eighteen-year-old back in 2006.

From Bancyfelin in Carmarthenshire, Jonathan played his junior club rugby for St Clears and Whitland before coming through the ranks of the Scarlets Academy and going on to become one of the leading centres in world rugby.

He twice toured with the Lions – to Australia (2013) and New Zealand (2017), where he was named player of the series in the epic Test battle against the All Blacks. He has also played 96 Tests for Wales, featuring in two Grand Slam-winning sides, a further two championship wins, and two Rugby World Cups in New Zealand (2011) and Japan (2019). During his time playing for Wales, Jonathan also had the honour of captaining the national side on four occasions.

After a couple of years in France with Clermont Auvergne, he returned to his home club ahead of the 2016-17 campaign and was an integral member of the Scarlets side that lifted the Guinness PRO12 title in exhilarating fashion in Dublin that season.

He continues to be an influential figure and role model in the Scarlets squad at the age of 36.

“Never could I have imagined when I was a kid running out onto the field at Stradey Park after the final whistle, trying to get as many player autographs as I could, that I would be lucky enough to become a player myself and play for the Scarlets, let alone more than 200 times,” he said.

“I have made memories that I will never forget whilst wearing the famous Scarlets shirt. From beating London Irish at the Madjeski in Europe, where travelling support was immense, to my favourite moment, winning the league in 2016-17 alongside team-mates who were also friends.

“I am extremely grateful to the Scarlets for all their support over the years and for awarding me this testimonial year.”

The testimonial year runs from June 2024 to May 2025 and has events planned for Llanelli, Cardiff, London and Dubai. It will also be supporting Jonathan’s chosen charity LATCH, who provide support for children and their families who are being treated by the Oncology Unit at the Children’s Hospital of Wales.

Tim Griffiths, the chair of Jonathan’s testimonial committee, said: “I am proud and honoured to be chair of Jon’s testimonial committee. Jon has been a champion of our national game; one of the modern-day greats of Welsh rugby, who has achieved so much in the jersey of the Scarlets, Wales and the Lions.

“We are looking forward to celebrating all his achievements during an exciting testimonial calendar, while also raising money for the fantastic work of his chosen charity LATCH.”

Scarlets Executive Chairman Simon Muderack said: “We wish Jon all the best for his testimonial year. He is a player who has given much to the game, a proud West Walian who became one of the finest centres in world rugby.”

Welsh Rugby Union CEO Abi Tierney added: “Jonathan Davies has been one of Welsh rugby’s greatest servants. At the peak of his powers he was one of the best centres in the world game over a sustained period of time and he is still delighting fans at Parc y Scarlets on a regular basis.

“Certainly, during that successful Lions tour of Australia in 2013, everyone knew he was one of the first names on the team sheet for the Lions coaches and Warren Gatland has regularly, since, named him as one of the best players he has ever coached.

“Jonathan is a credit to his origins, to his family and to the schools and coaches of his youth, always paying them tribute and often back at the clubs and institutions who supported him as a youngster.

“He is a hugely impressive individual, humble about his achievements as one of the finest professional rugby players Wales has produced and he deserves all the accolades and credit that will follow him in his testimonial year with his beloved Scarlets.”

The JD13 first event, a dinner in the Quinnell Lounge at Parc y Scarlets, will also support the Phil Bennett Foundation and take place in June. Full information on that event will follow.

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Sport

Dominant Goodwick crowned Champions

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Another convincing win for Goodwick United this season, this time over Milford United saw them confirmed as first division champions.

The outstanding Goodwick have dominated the first division all season and the league has been over as a contest since around Christmas time. Having not lost a league game and only failed to win two nobody’s come close to challenging them.

We asked the question earlier in the season is this one of the best teams if not the best Pembrokeshire has seen? The West Wales Cup and the treble may have settled this debate however they were unlucky to lose in the semi finals of that competition. The senior cup is still to play for and Goodwick will be strong favourites for this.

Undoubtedly an outstanding team and congratulations to everyone involved from the management to the ground staff and everyone in between.

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