Tour de Force! Geraint wins world's toughest cycle race!
When SportsAid Cymru Wales gave a support grant years ago to promising young cyclist Geraint Thomas, not even the most optimistic sport followers could have imagined that the Cardiff lad whizzzing around the Maindy Stadium track would one day win the Tour de France, arguably the most physically demanding event on the planet.
One of the 'Golden Era' pupils at Whitchurch High School, along with Gareth Bale and Sam Warburton, the modest yet almost superhuman cyclist had previously worked tirelessly and selflessly in support of Sky teammates on the Tour, notably four times winner Chris Frome.
All that changed when Geraint hung on to the leader's Yellow Jersey in successive stages of this year's Tour until it became clear that he wasn't going to be beaten!
Geraint has previously attended a SportsAid Cymru Wales fund-raising lunch in aid of other emerging athletes. We add our congratulations to those of the rest of the sporting world. See you soon, Geraint!
Golden girls light up the Euros
Congratulations also to two SACW stars who make regular appearances on our roll of honour - cyclist Elinor Barker and swimmer Georgia Davies.
Eli continued her phenomenal success on the track in the team pursuit at the European Championships where she scooped another Gold with teammates Laura Kenny, Katie Archibald and Neah Evans. Georgia, meanwhile, had commentators jumping up and down as she beat off a top-class field to take Gold in the 50m backstroke.
SportsAid Cymru Wales - investing
in our sporting future
SportsAid Cymru Wales is a unique charity dedicated to helping talented young sportspeople in Wales achieve success by easing some of the financial barriers which can crush their dreams.
Since its formation, SportsAid Cymru Wales has distributed nearly £1.5 million in grants to qualifying athletes in the early stages of their careers in almost 30 different sports.
Most grant recipients say it is not just the financial support that gives them a boost: They say the recognition and encouragement represented by a SportsAid Cymru Wales grant helps fire their commitment to perform to the best of their abilities.
Many top sportspeople who have brought pride to Wales on a world stage, including hurdler Colin Jackson, cyclists Nicole Cooke, Geraint Thomas and Eli Barker, sprinter Jamie Baulch, paralympian David Roberts MBE, sailor Hannah Mills and taekwando champion Jade Jones, were helped by SportsAid when they were relatively unknown to the public. All are keen supporters of the charity.
If you can help us to help our potential stars of the future – we’d be delighted to hear from you! Click on the Contact Us tab above.
CWG - Wales in best ever
Forty-three SportsAid Cymru Wales - supported competitors (see panel left) - including the entire women's gymnastics team - were in the Wales squad at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
Star cyclist Eli Barker stormed to Gold in the 25km points race, fellow wheeler Lewis Oliva took Silver in the keirin, and Silvers also went to gymnast Latalia Bevan in the floor exercise and to Ben Llewellin in skeet shooting. In the pool it was the dynamic duo - Georgia Davies and Chloe Tutton - who won Bronze in the 50m backstroke and 200m breaststroke respectively and together in the 4x100 medley.
Team Wales athletes turned in a record-breaking performance at the Games. Around 200 athletes won 36 medals in 11 sports - 10 Golds, 12 silver and 14 bronze - the best ever return for Wales, finishing seventh in the medal table, ahead of Scotland in 8th and Nigeria 9th.
Sport Wales CEO Sarah Powell said: “The Welsh athletes have produced moments that will live long in the memory and raised the bar for high performance sport in Wales. Whilst a few of the sports have athletes who train and compete full time, most actually train around their jobs or student education - that is why our support is so vital."
Our featured SACW athlete is 19-year-old Lauren Williams of Caersws, tipped as one of the most exciting prospects in British athletics.
Coming back from injury, the Maldwyn Harriers and Swansea Harriers hurdler keeps getting faster and faster, setting new personal bests in the toughest of competitions.
In the summer 2018 England Athletics Championships in Bedford, Lauren led the field with a PB of 59.21, ranking her 8th in Europe.
In May, she represented GB Juniors at the Loughborough International meet with a time that elevated her to UK No.1 in the women's u-20 400m hurdles. Said Lauren "I would like to say a huge thank you to SportsAid Cymru Wales for your support which has helped considerably with travel and competition entry fees etc."
Stars of tomorrow line up at West Wales fundraiser
Seven young Welsh sportspeople with exciting talent were presented with SportsAid Cymru Wales grants at the latest fund-raising lunch in Carmarthen organised by SACW's West Wales committee.
Handing out the awards was Nicola Phillips, Chef de Mission for Team Wales at the Commonwealth Games, who only arrived back in the UK from Australia the day before!
The line-up, from left, is Nicola, Bryn Thomas (Golf) Jamie Dean (Golf) Joshua Thomas (Cricket/Javelin/Rugby) SACW Director Ron Jones, Finlay Yates-Jones (Canoe) Lili Bryant (Canoe) Emily Shawyer (Shooting) and Macy John (Weightlifting). Macy claims the highest possible sporting connections - her great uncle is Barry John!
Nicola praised the work of SportsAid and said that without the charity's help some of the Welsh athletes at the CWG would not have made it to the Games. The lunch attracted, as usual, around 200 loyal supporters from business, public administration and the world of sport and is expected to raise around £5,000. Guest speaker was former Welsh international hooker Garin Jenkins.
Another 80 young Welsh sportspeople get a helping hand from SCAW
In total, 80 young sportspeople in Wales received grants from SportsAid Cymru Wales in the latest round of applications. SACW and its supporters maintain a proud 34-year tradition of being able to award grants to all applicants who meet the set criteria. Click on the Athletes & Awards tab and then Recent Award Recipients (top of left column) to see the list.
Record-breaking performance from SportsAid Cymru Wales skier Menna Fitzpatrick
Congratulations to Menna Fitzpatrick (right) and her guide Jennifer Kehoe for their sensational success at the Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeonchang, South Korea.
Despite having no vision in one eye and only 5% in the other, Menna, who received a SportsAid Cymru Wales grant to support and encourage her promising talent, took a Bronze, two Silver medals and then a Gold in the slalom - half Britain's total medal haul - with Army officer Jennifer guiding her via wi-fi headsets.
The 19-year-old former Cardiff girl, now based in Macclesfield, thus becomes one of Britain's most decorated Paralympians and was given the honour of carrying the GB flag at the closing ceremony.
SACW Director Ron Jones said "Menna and Jennifer have posted videos made with the RNIB of how much Menna can actually see as she rockets down the slopes at speeds of up to 60mph. That takes great skill but also a huge amount of courage, especially after a fall. We are all very proud of her."
Update: Delighted to see that Menna has been awarded an MBE for services to Paralympic Winter Sports in the Queen's Birthday Honours June 2018!