Young athletes from Rhymney Valley Athletics Club shone brightly as they grabbed a huge medal haul in the East Regional Championships on Sunday May 14.
The Blackwood-based youngsters returned with a total of 33 medals – nine gold, nine silver and 15 bronze – from the meeting in Brecon.
Despite difficult conditions, which alternated between strong sunshine and heavy downpours with blustery winds, many set new personal best times and distances, while three claimed regional records.
Among the numerous success stories on the day, Toks Akanbi-Mortimer set an East Region record of 13.50 in the U13 Boys’ 70m hurdles, as Caitlin Seaborne won the U13 Girls’ javelin with 17.92m.
In the U15 Boys’ programme, George Powell won the 300m in 41.27, Oliver Watkins won the javelin with 30.56m, Ben Mattey won the 100m in 11.88, Samuel Gill won the discus with 25.09m, and Lloyd Sheppard set a new East Wales record in the 3000m, running in 9:34.34, while Iwan Rees jumped 1.70m to break another East Region record in the high-jump.
RVAC chairwoman, Ruth Powell, said: “It was another tremendous success for our talented youngsters. We are increasing participation at a regional level year-on-year and their achievements are all the more impressive when you consider the very limited facilities we have in comparison to other clubs.
“Without a fit-for-purpose running track in our area and poor facilities for field events, we’re training at Blackwood Comprehensive School.
“All credit must go to the coaches who are creative with the space and work so very hard to ensure athletes reach their full potential. It’s not easy to deliver on what we have available.
“As these results show once more, there’s a very rich vein of talented, hard-working and committed children in the area, most of whom would not have experienced athletics if the club hadn’t been set up and run by what is now a small army of volunteers.”