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
Mumbles win well against Ammanford seconds
AMMANFORD seconds suffered a heavy 125 run defeat at the hands of Mumbles at Marespool.
Winning the toss, Ammanford invited Mumbles to bat first, and a terrific 188 run partnership for the second wicket, featuring Ben Jones (94) and Stuart Seaton (77), helped the home team to a healthy 221 for 4 in 45 overs.
Several Ammanford batsmen got into double figures but none were able to stay long enough to make any impression on the run chase. Eirian Morgan top-scored with 25, but the Ammanford innings finished disappointingly on 96 all out.
Gethin Morgan and Phil Roche each took three wickets for Mumbles.
Thirds beaten by Landore
Ammanford thirds travelled to Landore only to lose their match by 50 runs.
Ammanford skipper Carl Griffiths put Landore in to bat, and the home team scored 148 for 9. Landore
skipper Terry Summerfield top-scored with 33.
Ammanford’s Tom Davies was chief wicket-taker with 4 for 38.
Despite a solid 30 from opener and man-of-the-match Tom Davies, Ammanford failed to get anywhere near the required target and folded their innings on 98 inside 34 overs.
The defeat dropped them out of the top half of division six on the SWCA.
Cwmamman United Juniors host end of season event
CWMAMMAN United juniors held their end of season event at Clwb Godre’r Mynydd Ddu Glanamman.
As they celebrated throughout the day with their different age groups from Under 6 to Under 14 it looked as if almost every child in the Cwm had attended at some point.
The Juniors section at the club has grown to around 150 children over the last couple of years and with a dedicated and enthusiastic group of committee, coaches and volunteers behind them the club is excitedly anticipating further growth.
A fantastic time was had by all with all age groups proudly having their moment in the sun.
Robert Griffiths the Clubs Junior Chairman said: “I have to thank all our fantastic people at the club that get the kids out playing whether sorting games, coaching, fund raising or organising events such as our club parties and awards such as these.
“We continiue to grow and if your child would like to be part of a safe, healthy and fun environment they are most welcome here.”
Depleted Ammanford beaten by seven wickets
A DEPLETED Ammanford lost by seven wickets to Bridgend Town in a rain affected match at windswept Newbridge Fields on Satuday (Jun 25).
With the start delayed by over an hour because of rain, the match was reduced to 39 overs before a ball was bowled, and the toss immediately became the crucial factor in deciding the game’s outcome.
Bridgend won it and, predictably enough, put Ammanford in to bat.
The writing was on the wall as the visitors lost two wickets for 9 runs on an unpredictable wicket which was one of the first bowler-friendly tracks encountered this season.
Only four batters reached double figures as wickets fell at regular intervals. Top scorer was 14 year old wicket-keeper Gruffudd Owen (19no) who took the game to the visitors and looked capable of scoring many more had he not run out of partners.
Ammanford were all out for 90 inside 30 overs.
Tea was taken early as more heavy rain swept across Newbridge Fields, but unfortunately for Ammanford the sun made a reappearance and play eventually resumed.
The Bridgend batters did not have it all their own way, quickly losing both openers to opening bowler Owen Davies.
Davies removed a further wicket in a good spell of 3 for 15, but Thomas Cogbill (43no) and Luke Humphries (18) saw Bridgend safely home without further trouble inside 24 overs.
Next week, Ammanford welcome second placed Swansea to the Park, the memory of their 700+ run clash at St Helen’s still fresh in their minds.
Thirds beat Pontardawe by a single run
Ammanford thirds beat Pontardawe by a single run in a rain adjusted match at the Rec.
Batting first, Ammanford reached 132 all out, thanks mainly to their captain Carl Griffiths (41) and Dafydd Wyn Jones (21).
Rain meant that Pontardawe’s reply was restricted to just 16 overs, during which they had to score 53 runs.
They came very close, but two wickets each from Oliver Pallot and Iwan Matthews interrupted their progress and they fell short by a single run, finishing on 51 for 5.
The victory moved Ammanford into the top half of SWCA’s Division 6.
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