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Athletics season reaches climax

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SWANSEA UNIVERSITY’S Athletics Track played host to the end-of-season Welsh Athletics Junior League Cup & Plate Finals for U11, U13 and U15 athletes over the Bank Holiday weekend (Aug 24-25) as temperatures reached the mid-twenties Celsius.

It saw sixteen teams from East and West Wales and around 500 competitors attend over the two-day competition as the summer track and field season concluded before the winter campaign gets up and running this month.

Four weeks after Welsh Schools hosted the SIAB Schools U17 International at Swansea towards the end of July, the latest weekend was a great chance to see up-and-coming future stars compete in this team event.

With the same events and age groups to the Louise Arthur League, the only difference this time around was the clubs were restricted to just two athletes per event, rather than four that has been permitted at league fixtures over the course of the summer at Carmarthen, Hereford, Neath, Cardiff, Haverfordwest, Aberdare and Swansea.

Up to twenty-four athletes from each club had the opportunity to represent their team in one of the six 4 x 100m relays and it was an excellent climax to the programme.

After the typical Welsh wet weather and strong winds for mid-August which resulted in the cancellation of the final Welsh Athletics U17, U20 and Senior League at the very same venue exactly a fortnight ago, conditions were much better and ideal this time for a great holiday weekend of action on the track and in the field with the sun shining down on the facility.

Llanelli AC were placed in the plate final alongside Pontyclun AC, Neath Harriers, Bridgend AC and Barry & Vale Harriers, Blaenau Gwent AC, Aberdare VAAC, Hereford & County AC, Rhondda AC & Cwmbran Harriers and placed in an excellent third.

In the cup final 24 hours later, Carmarthen Harriers and Pembrokeshire Harriers junior teams went head to head with Cardiff Archers, Cardiff Athletics, Swansea Harriers, Newport Harriers, Rhymney Valley AC and Brecon AC in the cup final.

Carmarthen Harriers finished in fifth whilst Pembrokeshire Harriers were seventh at the end of the sixty-eight events completed.

Overall plate and cup winners were Neath Harriers and Swansea Harriers respectively, with the latter winning the trophy for the second successive year on their home turf.

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Wales v Scotland postponed

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WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.

The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.

A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.

“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.

“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.

“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”

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Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended

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THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales has today (13 March) taken the decision to suspend domestic football at all levels in Wales with immediate effect until April 4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The intention at this time will be to resume the football schedule depending on the medical advice and conditions from the relevant authorities at that time.

The FAW is fully aware of the impact this will have on the domestic game but the health and safety of all fans, players, volunteers and stakeholders are of paramount importance.

The FAW will continue to monitor this situation on a day-by-day basis and will continue to provide updates when appropriate.

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Sport

Static Bike Challenge

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Firefighters from Llandelio Fire Station took part in a 22-hour static bike challenge to raise money for Llandilo Rural Fire Brigade who have been tirelessly battling the devastating bush fires in Australia. LLandilo town in Australia was named after Llandelio in Carmarthenshire and the Fire Stations have maintained their connection over the years.

Seeing the efforts and the devastation of the bush fires in Australia and the work and dedication from the Firefighters to ensure their communities are safe, crews from Llandelio decided to raise funds by undertaking a 22 hour cycle on static bikes to represent the time it takes to fly to Australia.

On the 15th February 2020 at 3pm the challenge started! The firefighters were split into two teams of five, with each team taking it in turn to cycle for 30 minutes each throughout the 22 hours. This ensured that they were continually cycling and whilst still being able to provide operational cover. All this took place during Storm Dennis and during the challenge crews were called out to a total of eight incidents, one of which was a property flooding, during which crews rescued 6 adults and 2 dogs from a potentially critical situation.

Watch Manager, John Herman from Llandeilio Fire Station said:

“This entire experience has brought the two fire stations closer together, and after keeping in contact throughout this last few months, we look forward to continuing that connection for years to come!”

Over the two days, crews welcomed many visitors who came to show their support and donate money to the charity. To date the figure stands at £2,500 which is equivalent to almost $4900 AUD, and this figure is still rising with donations coming in from schools, town councils and public donations! Crews would like to give a special thanks to Llandelio CP School and Ysgol Gynradd Ffaifach who raised collectively over £800 for the challenge.

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