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Athletes book their places for Oakwood

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IT’s been a busy few days for school children across the Dyfed & Afan Nedd Tawe Districts last week.

Places at the Dyfed Championships were up for grabs in midweek whilst pupils in Afan Nedd Tawe headed to Margam Park for the Apollo Teaching Services cross country trial.

A few hundred School pupils from the four areas in Dyfed went head to head as runners looked to book their spots at this week’s Dyfed Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships at Oakwood Theme Park.

Pembrokeshire, Brianne, Ceredigion and Llanelli hosted area events on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday featuring nearly 30 schools. There were races for almost all year groups at secondary school level with all pupils invited to represent their school.

Fixtures began with the Year 7 athletes taking part in this competition for the very first time following their step up from primary over the summer. They were followed by the combined Year 8 and 9 race and Year 10 and 11. Distances varied by race with all competitors running around the perimeter of the fields.

Pembrokeshire Secondary Schools including Haverfordwest High School, Ysgol Harri Tudur, Ysgol Y Preseli, Ysgol Greenhill, Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi, Ysgol Bro Gwaun and Milford Haven School were the first to set off at Haverfordwest Racecourse.

Just a few hours later some 50 miles away at Ammanford Recreation Ground, Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, Ysgol Maes Y Gwendraeth, Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, Ysgol Dyffryn Taf, QE High School, and Llandovery College gathered outside the Rugby Club field for the Brianne Secondary Schools races.

This follows two league matches that have already been held in Brianne back in September and October. Other fixtures are scheduled for February and March 2019.

The Ceredigion Secondary Schools Championships certainly had the better of the conditions at the Urdd Campus in Llangrannog as the sun made an appearance despite the cold elements. Ysgol Aberaeron, Ysgol Bro Pedr, Ysgol Penweddig, Ysgol Penglais, Ysgol Emlyn, Ysgol Aberteifi, Ysgol Henry Richard and Ysgol Bro Teifi were all in attendance.

The fourth and final event of an action-packed week went to the 2019 Welsh Athletics Cross Country Championships hosts, Pembrey Country Park for the Llanelli Secondary Schools.

Runners from six schools had to contend with strong winds and driving rain, but luckily for pupils from Ysgol Y Strade, Ysgol Bryngwyn, Ysgol Coedcae, Ysgol Glan-Y-Mor, St Michaels School and St John Lloyd School, the underfoot conditions were ideal as is always the case at Pembrey.

Medals were awarded to the first three in each race and the event again incorporated an inter schools shield.

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Ultra-runner demonstrates to never give up on your dreams

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Rhys O’Mara (Left), Sanna (Centre) and Hollie Thomas (Right)

INSPIRATIONAL speaker Sanna Duthie recently inspired Military and Protective Services learners at the College with her story of running the 186 mile Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in a record breaking 51.5 hours without any sleep, to help raise money for the Welsh Air Ambulance.

Former College learner Sanna Duthie, an office manager by day and active runner by night, shared her experience of running the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in record breaking time. Sanna had participated in a few marathons over the years such as Tenby Long Course Weekend, the Gower 50 and the London Marathon.

However, the real adrenaline rush to complete the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path was when Sanna competed in a 100 mile race of the coastal path in 2017.

“I realised I wasn’t too bad at that distance and then that’s when I got it in my head about doing the whole thing.”

Running a coastal path isn’t the easiest challenge and Sanna had to be prepared with an extensive training programme running over 300 miles a month equivalent to 10 miles a day. Sanna also had strength and conditioning training at a local gym to ensure her successful recovery.

“Coast running is hard on your muscles and joints and you need to strengthen those in order to not get injured,” said Sanna.

Originally Sanna started to run the entire coastal path in August 2020 but after 63 miles had to abandon the race due to dangerous weather conditions. This only made Sanna more determined and she completed her ultra-run on 8 th May 2021.

Sanna explained the highs and lows of the run, “There were times when I just wanted to quit, and I even started to hallucinate but I used a tactic where rather than focus on the whole run I broke it down into sections – this made things less overwhelming. Close friends and family would join alongside me on different stages of my run, and this motivated me to get to the finish line.”

Protective services learner Rhys O’Mara was thoroughly inspired by Sanna’s story, “I feel like, from the talk, I’m more inspired to go out and push myself to take on bigger and better physical challenges, the talk really showed that you can achieve anything when you dedicate yourself to a task. After College I’m looking to join the RAF as a drone pilot and have a full career in the forces.”

Sanna was the first female to run the entire coastal path and breaking the previous record of 64 hours and 32 minutes and raised an impressive £5,768.14 for charity.

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Veteran Vikings beaten by Swansea

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HAKIN United Over 40s travelled to the Llandarcy Academy of Sport last Sunday (Nov 28) to play Swansea University.

Hakin took the lead inside 10 minutes as Matthew Price raced clear of the Uni defence before side footing the ball into the bottom corner.

A great start for the Veteran Vikings, but on the half hour mark, two quick goals for the Swansea men turned the game on its head.

A third goal just before half time put Swansea firmly in the drivers seat, but, the Hakin players felt that the goal was offside and that there was a handball in the build-up.

However, despite all of the protests, the goal stood.

Hakin looked far more purposeful in the second half, but they failed to find a goal that was going to get them back in the game.

Hakin are next in action on Sunday, December 12, when Church Village visit the Obs.

Hakin 40s: Jim Payne, Nick Jones, Adam Collins, Ali Davies, Paul Hannon, Marc Devonald, Simon Atyeo, Mark Riley, Paul Jones, Matthew Price, Phil Richards.

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Pembrokeshire Junior Netball League results

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IN the Pembrokeshire Junior Netball leagues on Saturday (Nov 27), there were wins for Sapphires White Under 12s and Pembroke Under 14s.

There was also a win for Fishguard Under 16s as they beat Pembroke 28-24.

Results for Saturday, November 27:

Under 12’s:

Sapphires White 7-4 Chaos Thunder

Players player:

Sapphires: Orla Maulio Martina

Chaos: Annabel Richards

Under 14’s:

Pembroke 23-17 Sapphires White

Players player:

Pembroke: Carys Kenniford

Sapphires: Florence Barker

Under 16’s:

Fishguard 28 v 24 Pembroke

Players player:

Fishguard: Evie Rands

Pembroke: Megan Bowen

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