FORMER Llanelli RFC captain and SWALEC Cup winner Ioan Cunningham will join Wayne Pivac’s coaching team for the 2015-16 season as Set Piece Coach.
Born in Glanamman, and a former pupil of Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, Cunningham first joined the Scarlets in 2000 as part of the region’s inaugural Academy year group, combining his training with a HND in Sports Science from Coleg Sir Gar.
The Welsh speaking backrow forward made 105 appearances for Llanelli RFC and captained the side that lifted the SWALEC Cup in 2005 against Pontypridd. He also made 4 appearances for the Scarlets and scored one try in a friendly match in Slovenia. Cunningham represented Wales U16 and Wales U18, captaining the side in 2001.
Scarlets Head Coach Wayne Pivac said: “Ioan has been working with the Academy here at the region for a number of years; he’s well respected amongst players and coaches and has a good rapport with players. Taking responsibility over the British & Irish Cup and LV= Cup groups in the last few years has given him confidence as a young coach. We saw some solid performances during both those competitions with a particularly strong performance at the Parc in January securing victory over an experienced London Irish side. He’ll undoubtedly be a good addition to the coaching group for the forthcoming season.”
Cunningham’s development into a senior role further shows the region’s work in developing young coaches as well as the region’s next generation of players.
His coaching career at Parc y Scarlets started in January 2011 as Performance Skills Coach and says he is looking forward to the new challenge and his continued development as a coach, he said: “This is a great opportunity for me to take another step on the professional coaching ladder. This has always been something I’ve wanted to achieve and have been working towards over the years. Personally, I’m looking forward to being a part of the coaching team that will develop long term forwards for the region and to develop a pack that can give us the top four spot.”
Whilst with Wales Under 20s Cunningham played a part in the development of some of Scarlets and Wales’ young talents in the front row in Kirby Myhill, Samson Lee, Rhodri Jones and R ob Evans.
In a short period of time Cunningham has amassed a wealth of coaching experience with Wales U16s, U18s, U20s, Scarlets Academy as well as heading up the British & Irish Cup and LV= Cup coaching team over the last two seasons.
He went on to say: “The LV= Cup has given me a good grounding and it gave me an insight on how to run things and manage a large playing group. I’ve been at the region for some time now and have enjoyed seeing the progression of our young local talent from the age grades and the Academy through to the senior side and on to international honours in some cases. In terms of what the future holds, we want to be a top four side and to make the play-offs. I believe that we can achieve that and reach our full potential.”
Canolfan Carwyn Sports Centre and Brynamman Lido to be transferred to a community groups
A MULTI- SPORTS facility, at the heart of the Gwendraeth Valley, has been taken over by a local sports group, the Baton Twirlers.
The management of Canolfan Carwyn Sports Centre, which is owned by Carmarthenshire County, has been transferred to the Baton Twirlers Association Cymru (BTAC) via a lease agreement and will allow the public to continue to use the facilities at the centre.
Whilst Canolfan Carwyn Sports Centre is now the official home of BTAC its facilities are available for the local community and sports groups to be used.
An official reopening of the Centre, which bears the name of one of the Gwendraeth Valley’s most famous sons, under the new management of the BTAC was held on Sunday, October 2.
Speaking at the event, Jessica Shore Director of the Baton Twirlers Association Cymru (BTAC) said:
“We are thrilled to have worked with Carmarthenshire County Council to secure this sports centre on behalf of the local community and it’s a pleasure to welcome the public here today. We are looking forward to working with and hosting various community and sports groups at the Carwyn James Sports Centre.
“It also was very important to us to provide a home for baton twirling in Wales, and we will make great use of the excellent facilities here.”
Cllr. Gareth John, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism said “This is a great success story for the BTAC, the Gwendraeth Valley and the council as we have secured the future of the Carwyn James Sports Centre for the local community.
I would like to thank Baton Twirlers Association Cymru for their work and enthusiasm during the process of transferring management of the Sports Centre to them, as a community group, and I wish them the very best for the future.”
Plans approved to transfer management of Brynamman Lido
On Monday, October 3, the council’s Cabinet approved plans to lease the Brynamman Lido, which is held in trust by the Carmarthenshire County Council, to Brynamman Lido Limited under its asset transfer programme.
Under the proposed lease, Brynamman Lido Limited will take over the management of the lido with the intention to reopen the swimming pool for sporting, recreational and leisure activities.
Following the approval of the plans by the Cabinet, Cllr. Gareth John commented:
“We are pleased to be working with the local group in Brynamman to transfer the management and maintenance of the lido to the community.
“The transfer of this asset will allow Brynamman Lido Ltd to apply for funding via grants that would not be available to the County Council, and we will continue to work with them and provide support along the journey to reopening the lido to the community.”
Latest recruit to Llandeilo’s Ashmole & Co team ‘converts’ his spare time into being a rugby referee
Ashmole & Co have scored a try with their newest Trainee Accountant. The firm is delighted to announce that Aled Jones has recently started working for the successful accountancy team in the Llandeilo office.
Aled, who lives in Pontyberem, is a community rugby referee in his spare time. He referees senior rugby games on Saturdays and Junior rugby games on Sundays including cup matches. He is also involved in the Scarlets Cup Final at Parc y Scarlets and the Carmarthenshire cup finals.
Before joining Ashmole & Co Aled was a Personal Banker with Barclays Bank for five years. He studied AAT Level three at Coleg Sir Gar. Aled went to primary school in Pontyberem and secondary school in Ysgol y Gwendraeth.
Day to day with Ashmole & Co, Aled prepares and inputs clients’ sales and purchase invoices onto the accounting software; completes clients’ VAT returns and assists senior members of the team with the preparation of accounts. The most rewarding part of the job for Aled is hearing that the clients are happy.
Welcoming Aled to the team, Ceri Llwyd, Partner in the Llandeilo Ashmole & Co office, said, “We are delighted that Aled has joined our team in Carmarthenshire. He has fitted in well and is a pleasure to work with. I’ve told my rugby mad sons that they have to behave now when they play rugby on a Sunday in case Aled is their referee! It is great that he gives up his spare time to help local rugby clubs in this way.”
Aled said, “I am grateful to Ashmole and Co, who are one of the most established and largest teams of chartered, certified accountants and auditors in south and west Wales, to give me this opportunity.”
Ashmole & Co offer financial support to a significant number of junior and professional sports teams across south Wales. The Llandeilo office has recently shown its support to Llandeilo RFC by contributing towards new tops for the juniors.
Ceri added, “As a rural firm that works with businesses in the area it is a pleasure for us to be able to lend our support to local sports teams.”
Llangennech prove too strong for Penclawdd
LLANGENNECH earned their fourth win in as many matches on Saturday (Oct 22) as they beat Penclawdd 38-10.
Jordan Saunders got the scoring underway with the first try of the game and Thomas Davies added the extras.
Penclawdd then levelled the scoring with a try from Daniel John Guarneri and Marcus Brown added the extras.
It remained 7-7 until half time with conditions proving tricky for both sides.
In the second half, Aaron Howles got the try to put Llangennech ahead but the conversion was missed.
Joseph Hutchings then extended the visitors’ lead with their third try and Davies added the extras to take the score to 7-19.
Penclawdd then responded with a penalty from Brown as the home side looked to get back into the game.
However, Llangennech soon had their fourth try and a bonus point as Howles touched down for his second try of the game and Davies added the extras.
Louis Rees then scored an unconverted try before replacement Hefin Jones went over for Llangennech’s sixth try, converted by Davies.
On Saturday, October 29, Penclawdd travel to Aberystwyth for their second game in the Division 1 Cup.
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