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RCT athletes selected for Commonwealth Games

RCT athletes selected for Commonwealth Games

Ryan Jenkins (back row, centre) and Conor Edwards (back row, right) with some of their team mates

Three table tennis players from Rhondda Cynon Taf have been selected to represent Wales in the Commonwealth Games in July.

Brothers Ryan and Stephen Jenkins of Pontypridd and Conor Edwards of Tonypandy will be part of the nine-member table tennis squad taking part in the Games, to be held in Glasgow.

This will be the fourth appearance at the Commonwealth Games for Ryan, a former Commonwealth silver medallist and Wales’ national coach. Ryan will balance the role of athlete and coach to the eight other members of the team.

Ryan has been competing for over 25 years and has won numerous medals for Wales along the way, including silver at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games and gold at the Commonwealth Championships in Malaysia in 2004.

“To play in so many major Games for Wales is a dream come true and it never tires. I’m proud to have been selected for my fourth Commonwealth Games,” said Ryan.

Following in the footsteps of elder brother and fellow athlete Ryan, Stephen Jenkins has been competing in table tennis for over 20 years.

The former Tonypandy Comprehensive pupil has competed at three previous Commonwealth Games for Wales and is a two-time Commonwealth Championship bronze medallist.

Having previously played professionally in Germany, Belgium and Switzerland, Stephen has also been crowned National Men’s Champion twice and British Champion in his career.

17-year-old Conor Edwards of Tonypandy will be the youngest member of the table tennis team at the Glasgow 2014 Games.

The former Tonypandy Community College student has already represented Wales on a number of occasions, including at the World Table Tennis Championships in Germany in 2012 and in France in 2013 and also at the Commonwealth Championships in India in 2013.

Current and four-time Welsh junior champion Conor was first introduced to table tennis through the extra-curricular activities on offer at the school through e3 and also via the Greenhouse project.

Cllr Robert Bevan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, Leisure and Tourism, said: “We are very proud of our sporting talent here in Rhondda Cynon Taf and it is fantastic news that Ryan, Stephen and Conor have been selected to represent our nation in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.

”These three excellent sportspeople developed and honed their skills in Rhondda Cynon Taf. Our dedicated Sport RCT staff work regularly with elite athletes such as Ryan, Stephen and Conor but are also there to support people of all ages and abilities who want to pursue a wide range of Sports and Leisure activities.”

Residents and visitors to Rhondda Cynon Taf will have the opportunity to congratulate Stephen and Conor in person by attending the Aberdare Festival on Sunday, May 25 where they will be running table tennis taster sessions.

Stephen Jenkins is also one of the baton bearers in the Queen’s Baton Relay team which will arrive in Aberdare as part of the Festival on May 25.

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