At just 16, she is the best all-round athlete of her age in Wales, chalking up Welsh championship victories and has been honoured by her club, the Carmarthen Harriers.
Lauryn’s been earmarked as a future international star, but knows the road to the big championships is difficult, demanding and expensive. This has led Ammanford businessman and well-known comic entertainer Phil Evans has launched a campaign to get cash backers for Lauryn’s athletics career.
“Everyone in the area is hugely proud of her achievements in athletics to date,” said Phil.
“But we also want to see her go on and do bigger and better things.
“Together with some friends, I am helping find ways of generating much-needed sponsorship cash for Lauryn.
“She has massive potential to succeed on the international stage and I am sure a little bit of financial help will help to smooth her passage to even more success on the athletics stage.”
Lauryn is now 16 (DOB 27/3/1989) and competes at the under 17 age level.
She took up triple jump in February 2015 as an alternative individual event to high jump, at which she had previously been Welsh age group champion and schools champion. Within six months of starting triple jump, she is the most promising female triple jumper Wales have had for many years.
She won her age group Welsh Championship easily and she took the bronze medal at the Schools International with a leap of 11 metres 42cm, which is the fifth longest by a junior in the UK this year. Her first Welsh Championship was when she won the under 15s Welsh Indoor Combined Events championships. This qualified her to compete for Welsh schools in the four nations schools tournament at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, which she has done every year since (three times), and (injury permitting) will do again this December (2015).
She also won the outdoor event in Newport. Combined events are the junior precursor to the senior heptathlon for women and decathlon for men. The athletes compete in five events in one day, namely the high jump, long jump, sprint hurdles, shot and 800 metres.
The 200 metres and javelin are added from this year for the outdoor competitions, and all senior competitions for all major championships are seven events over two days.
Lauryn has also been Welsh Schools and Welsh Athletics high jump champion several times and is currently Welsh Schools and Welsh Athletics triple jump champion and also has potential to develop over 400 metre hurdles in the future.
Essentially, therefore, she has to train for nine events, these being the seven heptathlon events plus the triple jump and the 400 metres hurdles.
So far this year, she has represented Wales schools in Scotland, and has been selected for the Celtic Games and the under 20s international.
Combined events coaches in Wales are rare and since the departure of Mike Guest following a fall out with Welsh Athletics after the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, there is only one coach we know of, namely her present coach Nigel Lewis, who is UK Athletics grade A combined events coach.
In April 2014 Lauryn suffered a nasty ankle injury from which she tried to come back too soon, so this kept her out for eight months. When she came back, she had a confidence issue with her high jump, so her coach suggested she try triple jump.
On her first attempt at triple jump in competition, she put in the best triple jump in Wales for four years. She continues to excel in triple jump, and seems to be a long way ahead of any rivals in Wales. However, it is a very hard event on the body, so physiotherapy and treatment are par for the course.
Lauryn lives in the Ammanford area and the return journey to Cardiff for training is 130 miles with Lauryn having to make multiple trips to and from the capital each week.
She needs several sets of spikes, as there are different spikes for each event.
Her family have also invested in three different sets of specialist orthotics (devices designed to help the muscular and skeletal system) for Lauryn.
Mr Evans said: “Some of the specialist footwear costs more than £100 a throw, so it is an expensive business.
“But Lauryn remains hopeful that the financial challenges of competing at such a high level will start to resolve as key sponsors come on board.”
Anyone interested in sponsoring Lauryn can contact Phil Evans on email at email@example.com
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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