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Karate classes allowed to continue after governing body provides emergency cover

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MILFORD HAVEN KARATE SCHOOL has been issued emergency insurance – and pupils will be sent karate licences directly – to allow the school to continue function, the national governing body for the sport, NAKMAS has said today (May 10).

Chairman of NAKMAS, Rev. Joe Ellis, told The Pembrokeshire Herald that the new certificates will be issued shortly. (Students who do not hold in date licences are not covered by insurance to train or be graded in karate.)

Rev. Joe Ellis said: “Emergency licensing (insurance) has been actioned for all children as of this morning.

“Certificates will be issued directly tomorrow to all students by NAKMAS.”

The rush to get the club back into good legal standing was required after an investigation by this newspaper uncovered that the club was operating – according to the national governing body – without the correct insurance cover for pupils.

NAKMAS also confirmed that grading certificates for belts at the club were in the words of the governing body “fake”, and that they were “alarmed” that they had been issued without permission.

But the NAKMAS boss Rev. Ellis said: “I will do everything in my power” to ensure that pupils at the popular martial arts club would be able to keep their grades.

The Herald understands that governing body has bent over backwards to sort out all the outstanding issues for the pupils and families in a very short period.

One parent said: “The fact that this has been brought to light and is now being sorted is the best outcome we could have hoped for.

“The kids will now get the official karate certificates that they have worked so hard for, and which the parents have paid for.”

It is not known how long unauthorised grading certificates have been issued for, although this newspaper has had sight of some going back to 2019.

In a Facebook post, Milford Haven Karate Club and NAKMAS have confirmed that all the students will have to be sent new certificates but said that comments made yesterday by NAKMAS and printed in a story this morning by The Pembrokeshire Herald made them “victims of some devastating allegations”

On social media, the club put not having insurance or licences in place as just a “clerical error” – they said: “We have just had the meeting with the head of NAKMAS.
“We have addressed a clerical error and NAKMAS are resolving this for us.
“They have confirmed we can continue lessons as normal.
“They have also confirmed they have received the licence renewals we have sent, although they are currently on hold until the clerical errors are sorted.
“We have in date certificates of the club/liability insurance and Kevin’s senior instructor examiner licence.
“We have an email dated May 7 that we sent to inform them that we were opening the club and for our covid risk assessment.
“NAKMAS will be issuing new grading certificates in the next few days to ensure all issues are covered.
“Kevin has put his heart and soul into building the Club for the last 18 years, he has never put a foot wrong, and we have been absolutely devastated by this.”

The Herald has been told that several parents have contacted the police about the matter, and NAKMAS said they would be also.

“Our legal team will contact the police within the next 24 hours”, they said.

NAKMAS confirmed that they were not allowing the club to comment about the issues raised by the Herald as they are still investigating irregularities. They said the club would not be allowed to comment until they “close all issues,” the UK’s only regulatory body for karate said.

On Facebook on Wednesday (May 11) NAKMAS posted on The Pembrokeshire Herald’s Facebook page saying: “Kevin John is a nationally accredited 6th Dan Black Belt and the Milford Haven Karate Club is an accredited affiliate of Nakmas which supports the club in all aspects of its membership.

“For the avoidance of doubt, full insurance and legal cover are operative. Students should continue to train within the club and parents should support Kevin John who clearly is well respected and much loved within the club and community as a whole.”

A spokesperson for the police said only: “Dyfed-Powys Police received a report on Tuesday 10th May 2022 which is currently being assessed.”

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Two arrests in Haverfordwest after reports of man in possession of a knife

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THERE was a large police response following 999 calls made in Haverfordwest last night to reports of an affray involving an offensive weapon.

Multiple police units descended on Fleming Crescent just before nine o’clock on Thursday (May 19).

Two people were taken into police custody, where they remain, police confirmed.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “We were called to a disturbance and reports of a man in possession of a knife in Fleming Crescent, Haverfordwest, at around 8.50pm on Thursday, 19 May.

“A 41-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of an offensive weapon, while a 33-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of affray.

“Both remain in police custody.”

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Business

Grape expectations for Welsh Wine Week 2022

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THIS JUNE, Welsh vineyards will welcome guests from Wales and beyond to taste what Wales’ burgeoning wine sector has to offer during its annual Welsh Wine Week.

From Saturday 4th to Sunday 12th June, free events, competitions, expert guided tours and tastings will make up the Welsh Wine Week schedule and give wine lovers the chance to personally discover the country’s picturesque vineyards and sample their wide range of award-winning vintages.

Special product releases will take place during Welsh Wine Week to commemorate the event, including Pembrokeshire’s Velfrey Vineyard’s Cuvée Reserve Sparkling Brut, a 2019 vintage traditional method sparkling brut wine, made especially from the vineyard’s Seyval Blanc and Pinot Noir grapes.

Confirmed events for Welsh Wine Week 2022 include: a cheese and Welsh wine sampling event from Gwinllan Conwy (in collaboration with Bodnant Welsh Food), White Castle Vineyard will be holding a tasting of their wines with Fine Wines Direct and there will be free vineyard tours and wine tastings across the week from Parva Farm vineyard.

Andy Mounsey, owner of Velfrey Vineyard and Chairman of the Welsh Vineyard Association, said: “Whether you relish in a red, white, rosé or sparkling wine, Welsh Wine Week is the perfect opportunity to show consumers what the Welsh wine industry has to offer.

“Wales is making strides in its wine production and has proudly adopted an innovative approach in which its experimental and diverse with the wine it produces. Wine producers are working collaboratively to drive the industry forward and championing each other, creating a supportive and closely connected network of vineyards.

“We have all been waiting fondly for the return of Welsh Wine Week and will mark the first event with no restrictions with a stellar line up of producers. We hope to welcome many more wine enthusiasts into our businesses this year, so please sign up to our events and treat yourself to some quality Welsh wine as you do.”

Full event listings and access to exclusive competitions and interviews with Welsh vineyards can be found on the dedicated Welsh Wine Week website.

Welsh Wine Week is organised by the Welsh Drinks Cluster, funded by Welsh Government, which works in partnership with Welsh drinks producers to promote the industry and its production of world class products.

For more information go to: https://www.welshwineweek.co.uk/

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Warm Pembrokeshire welcome for Ukrainians fleeing from war

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THE PEMBROKESHIRE community has been preparing a warm welcome to Ukrainian people fleeing the devastating war in their homeland.

Across Pembrokeshire, people have been signing up to become sponsors under the Homes for Ukraine scheme – one of the formal routes by which Ukrainian people can make their way to the UK, having been matched with a local family.

To date, Pembrokeshire has seen over 75 households signing up to the scheme.

As part of the formal process for becoming a sponsor, Pembrokeshire County Council is undertaking checks to ensure that people arriving from Ukraine are being offered safe and comfortable environments in which to live.

When people arrive with their sponsor household, contact is made by the Council to welcome them, support them with any immediate needs and ensure that they know where they can get information and advice.

The Pembrokeshire Community Hub, a partnership between Pembrokeshire County Council, PAVS and Volunteering Matters, is also working with Council teams and community groups to ensure that people are offered a warm welcome to the county.

People who are hosting and sponsoring families arriving from Ukraine are being equipped with information packs to help them prepare for their guests’ arrival and are also being invited to become part of an online support network, where they can connect and support one another.

The support has led to positive feedback from local people hosting Ukrainians with compliments for the level of assistance and support provided.

Community groups are also establishing themselves across the County, offering a range of support to those arriving.

This includes spaces to meet, organised community gatherings and fundraising activities.

Through the Community Hub and with support of PAVS, these groups are also being encouraged to join Pembrokeshire Community Support Network – Ukraine, where they can get up to date information, share with one another and get support when needed.

If you are looking to support people arriving from Ukraine, or are already doing so, and would like more information, please contact the Pembrokeshire Community Hub on 01437 776301 or ukrainecommunityresponse@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

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