Aberdare squash player Joel Makin is guaranteed to get lots of support from his family when he competes in the Commonwealth Games this month. For Joel’s sisters, parents and grandparents are all planning to make the journey to Glasgow to cheer him on.
A former pupil at St John Baptist Church of Wales School, Aberdare, Joel played squash for Wales as a teenager and trained with the elite Junior Welsh Squash squad. His parents Richard and Claire were keen squash players at university and passed on their love of sport to Joel and his sisters Lydia and Martha.
Joel, who is currently studying Geography at university in Birmingham, is a member of Cardiff Squash Club.
“I started playing squash in local clubs in Aberdare when I was about nine or 10 years old and loved it. I started playing more and more and then got involved with the national squads,” he said.
“I am really excited and looking forward to the Games. We have all worked very hard.”
Rhondda Cynon Taf Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Sport, Cllr Ann Crimmings, said: “Joel played squash as a teenager at Michell Sobell Sports Centre in Aberdare, and his family also enjoyed keeping active there. I am delighted that his career as has really taken off and that he will be representing his country at the Commonwealth Games this month.
“Anyone inspired by Joel’s story who wants to follow in his footsteps will be able to do so at the new Sobell Leisure Centre, which is due to open this autumn, as there will be two squash courts among the excellent new sport and fitness facilities available.
“Our aim is to get as many RCT residents as possible physically active and the range of facilities and classes on offer at our leisure centres means there is something for everyone.”
To find out what is on offer at the Council’s leisure centres, please visit the Leisure web pages