TEAM WALES – ATHLETE PROFILES
From: Swindon, lives in Swansea
Event: 400m and 800m Freestyle
20 year-old Jazmin Carlin has exploded onto the swimming scene over the last 18 months after she made her name alongside GB’s golden girl Rebecca Adlington.
The Swansea-based swimmer competed for GB at the World Championships in Rome 2009 in the 4x200m Freestyle as part of team which consisted of Beijing medallists Jo Jackson and Rebecca Adlington. Not only did they come away with the bronze medal but also a new European and British record.
Jazz was first introduced to the pool when her Dad took her to the local pool at just 10 months old. From there she joined a local club at just five and then moved to Wales to train with the Swansea Performance squad at 16 years-old.
She has been competing since she was 11 so is no stranger to the limelight. She competed for Wales in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne where she finished eighth in the final of the 800m Freestyle and has also experienced India from competing in the Commonwealth Youth Games 2008 in Pune.
Event: 400m and 1500m Freestyle
25 year-old David Davies has caused quite a stir in the pool over the years and is one of Britain’s and the World’s most outstanding distance swimmers.
2002 saw David make a real splash in the swimming world after he became British Short Course Champion for the 1500m and for the first time qualified for a place on the British Senior Team. He then, at just 17, swam for Wales at the Manchester Commonwealth Games and took a staggering 50 seconds off his previous personal best in the 1500m Freestyle.
In 2003 David took silver in both the 1500m & 800m Freestyle and bronze in the 400m at the World Championship Trials. As part of the British Team he travelled to Barcelona for the World Championships, where he just missed out on a medal with 4th place in the 1500m Freestyle.
One of Barry boy David’s career highlights came in 2004 when he was presented with the Olympic bronze medal for the 1500m Freestyle in Athens. He had the race of his life setting a new European Record and personal best of 14.45.95mins, making him the second only British medal winner in the pool at the Games.
David is no stranger to the Commonwealth Games and with Melbourne 2006 came Davies’ first taste of gold medal glory. After securing a surprise bronze medal on the opening day of competition in the 400m Freestyle, he delivered Team Wales’ second gold medal of the event on the last night of swimming competition in the 1500m Freestyle.
Recuperation from a foot infection, clocking the fourth fastest time in the world at the 2006 Dutch Championships, bagging the bronze medal in the 2007 World Swimming Championships in Melbourne and a silver in the 1500m freestyle at the 2008 World Championships all followed.
The second of his career highlights so far came in 2008 when David was selected to compete for GB at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. He went one better than his success in Athens and bagged the Olympic silver medal in the open water event.
Event: 50m & 100m Backstroke
After joining a swimming club with her best friend at 10 years-old, Swansea’s Georgia has gone on to swim competitively for eight years.
The 19 year-old, who will celebrate her 20th birthday during the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, has always found representing her country a real honour and gained her first international medal in the European Junior Championships.
She has competed in India before after being selected as part of the squad to travel to the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2008 and dreams of competing in the Olympics.
Event: 400m individual medley
Another swimmer from the Dave Haller’s City of Cardiff pool of talent, Thomas Haffield has the benefit of the coaching expertise that has helped propel the career of Olympic bronze medallist David Davies.
The 22 year-old secured a place at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games after winning a gold medal in the final of the 400m IM at the British Swimming Championships in Sheffield.
The Neath-born swimmer has broken Commonwealth records and will be looking to jump further up the rankings after his performance out in Delhi.
Event: 50m & 100m Freestyle, 50m, 100m & 200m Breaststroke
Older sister of fellow team member Robert Holderness, 22 year old Georgia has been competing for 12 years and trains at Florida State University with her brother.
After learning to swim in the pool at her home, the former Millfield School pupil made the European Juniors in 2002 and 2003 for Great Britain where she finished eighth in the 200m Individual Medley.
She earned herself a spot in the Commonwealth Games for Wales in Manchester 2002 and won the National as a member of the 400m Freestyle Relay team in 2004.
Georgia competed for GB in the 50m and 100m Breaststroke at the World Championships in Rome 2009 and reached the semi finals – one of the highlights of her career to date.
Event: 50m Breaststroke
20 year-old Robert followed in the footsteps of his sisters who were also keen swimmers; and sport is evidently in the blood with his father previously being a racing car driver and his grandfather a successful track runner.
Another Welsh swimmer to have crossed the pond to the Florida State University, Somerset-born Robert competed for the Junior GB team in 2007 at the European Junior Championships.
Robert has a collection of medals to be proud of, including a gold medal in the 50m Breaststroke from the International Schools Federation in Hungary, a gold medal from WISE International in Dublin, the Welsh junior record holder in the 50m and 100m Breaststroke and a silver medal from the 2006 British Age Groups.
Travelling to Mexico to compete in the World Youth Championships and getting a bronze medal is one of his career highlights so far.
Event: 200m Individual Medley
Still only 17, Penarth-born Ieuan will be the youngest member of the swimming team competing in Delhi.
After his Dad taught him to swim at just three years-old, Ieuan joined Cardiff Swimming Club at the tender age of six and now trains at Cardiff International Pool with coach Dave Haller.
Ieuan started breaking records at just 15 when he smashed the British Age Group 200m record, he then went on to win silver at the UK School Games in 2008 and last year won the gold in the 200m at the European Youth Olympic Festival.
Still a student at Stanwell School in Penarth, Ieuan is an avid Cardiff City fan and would love to meet Sharon Davies.
Event: 50m, 100m & 200m Breaststroke and 100m Breaststroke in the 4x100m Medley
16 year-old Sara first started swimming at the age of nine and went on to qualify for the Wales National Youth Squad a year early.
The Bridgend-born swimmer became the youngest member of the Wales School Swimming team in 2007 and competed in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune in 2008 where she won two individual bronze medals and a silver for the medley relay.
A successful European Championships in 2010 for Sara saw her take home the bronze in the 50m Breaststroke and swim to silver in the 4x100m medley relay.
Event: 100m and 200m Backstroke
Currently a student at the University of Florida, 21 year-old Marco started swimming at just two years-old after his sister took up the sport, he has since been competing for 15 years.
An impressive display as a junior saw Marco pick up a silver medal in the 2005 European Youth Olympics, a bronze medal in the 4x100m medley relay in the 2006 European Championships and a gold medal in the 100m Backstroke at the European Junior Championships in 2007, along with three silver medals in the 50m and 100m Backstroke and the 4x100m medley relay.
Marco swam for GB at the 2009 European Championships in Rome in the 100m and 200m Backstroke and the 50m Freestyle.
Event: 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly
Even though she’s just 20 years-old, Jemma Lowe is one of the most experienced members of the swimming team competing for Wales in Delhi.
The University of Florida student has been competing for 10 years and first swam for Britain in 2004. Since then she has gone from strength to strength finishing sixth at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne 2006 in the 200m butterfly as well as claiming two silvers at the European Junior Championships in the same year.
Jemma - whose father is from Cardiff – also had a fantastic 2007 and in August at the National Championships in Sheffield she set a new British Senior Record for the 100m Butterfly in a time of 58.73 seconds. This talented swimmer is also the Welsh record holder for the 50m and 100m Butterfly and British record holder for the 200m butterfly which she set on the way to becoming British Champion at the Olympic trials in Sheffield in April 2008.
It was the 2008 British Championships that helped see Jemma one step closer to reaslising her dream of competing at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. She became one of seven British athletes to make the qualifying grade for the Games and went on to compete in the 100m and 200m butterfly, as well as the Women’s 4x100m medley relay. She finished sixth in the 100m final and reached the semi-finals of the 200m coming in ninth place and was also part of the women’s relay that came in fourth in a European record time.
2008 also saw Jemma win three individual gold medals at the Commonwealth Youth Games in India.
From: West Yorkshire
Event: 50m, 100m & 400m Freestyle, 100m Butterfly, 200m & 400m Individual Medley
The youngest member of Wales’ swimming squad, 15 year old Sian Morgan has already been competing for seven years after first getting in the pool at just two.
Sian represented GB in the European Junior Championships in Prague in July 2009 where she won a gold medal in the 4x200m Freestyle Relay. Later that year she became a finalist in the 400m Freestyle at the World School Games in Qatar.
2010 saw her compete in the European Junior Championships again, this time in Helsinki.
From: Lincoln, lives in Swansea
Event: 50m Backstroke
20 year-old Jenny has been competing in the pool for 12 years and was inspired to take up the sport after watching her sister swim.
A part-time office worker for Swim Wales, Jenny sees being selected to compete for Wales at this year’s Commonwealth Games as one of her career highlights.
Event S8 100m Freestyle
Roberts took up swimming as part of his physiotherapy after being diagnosed with cerebal palsy at 11 years old. By the age of 14, he had been selected for Wales and represented Great Britain at 19 in the European Championships, winning all four events.
His Paralympic dreams came true in 2000 at the Sydney Games where he won three golds, three silvers and a bronze. It was in Athens 2004 though, where his burgeoning potential was fully realised with four gold medal swims, one silver and two records.
Now 30 years old, David’s outstanding achievements saw him awarded and MBE by the Queen at just 24.
2006 saw Roberts represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne where he excelled in the 100m disability race snatching a bronze medal away from Aussie swimmer, Ben Austin. He finished 2006 in a flourish at the IPC Swimming World Championships in South Africa. He came back with six medals, four gold, one silver and one bronze. On top of that he was part of the 4x100m Freestyle Relay who broke a World Record, and set a new European Record in the 4x100m Medley Relay.
The first half of 2008 saw David set new world records for the S7 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m Freestyle events in the space of six weeks. He achieved selection for this third consecutive Paralympics in May 2008 by being named as part of the GB squad to travel to Beijing.
He won four gold medals in Beijing, taking the S7 50m, 100m and 400m Freestyle and was part of the gold medal winning GB Freestyle relay team that broke the world record by seven seconds. He was given the honour of carrying the flag for the GB & NI team at the Closing Ceremony in Beijing.
In the 2009 New Years Honours list, David was awarded a CBE. He unfortunately missed the 2009 IPC European and World Swimming Championships through injury breaking his wrist.
On his return to international competition at the 2010 World Championships in Eindhoven, he recently won gold in the 100m Freestyle, plus one silver and two bronze medals.
From: Pontyclun, RCT
Event: 200m & 400m Freestyle and 4x200m Freestyle
17 year old Danielle started taking swimming lessons at her local pool at the age of just three and joined Llantrisant Swimming Club – the same club that started David Roberts’ career - to start swimming competitively, before moving to the City of Cardiff Swim Club.
Pontyclun’s Danielle still trains in Cardiff and is coached by Dave Haller.
She returned from the European Junior Championships in Prague 2009 with a gold medal and a new junior European Record in the 4x200m relay.
Danielle secured the 400m Freestyle title in a time of 4:17:64 at the Scottish Championships in Glasgow 2010.
Event: 200m Butterfly & 4x200m Freestyle
Alys Thomas will turn 20 during the Games in Delhi and has been competing for nine years.
Based at the Wales National Pool Swansea, Alys competed in the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2008 and came home with a gold medal for the 4x200m Freestyle relay. Swimming with teammates Jazz Carlin, Jemma Lowe and Georgia Davies the Welsh girls came in first ahead of England and Australia to set a new Games record and smashed the Welsh Senior record.
In 2010 Alys swam at the British Swimming Championships in Sheffield and won the bronze medal in a time of 2.11.54.
Delhi will be her first Commonwealth Games.
Event: 50m Breaststroke
Wrexham born Lowri Tynan will turn 23 during the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and is no stranger to the competition after competing in Melbourne 2006.
Her talent was first spotted by coach Keith Barrow at a pool in Wrexham and she went on to become the Welsh record holder for 50 metres Breaststroke by the age of 14. Lowri now trains in Loughborough.
Her international career breakthrough came in 2009 when she was selected as a wild card for the 2009 World Championships in Rome. After achieving the fastest time out of the British trio of 1:08:30 in the heats of the 100m Breaststroke, Lowri was selected for the 4x100 relay where the GB finished in fourth in a new British record time.
From: Carmarthen, lives in Newport
Event: Individual Compound and Women’s team if qualified
35 year-old Beatrice attended Glan Y Mor Comprehensive School and has been competing for 23 years after taking up the sport with her mum. Archery is very much in the family with her parents and sister all archery coaches.
Head of Art at St Teilos Church in Wales High School in Cardiff, the full time teacher met her partner of 19 years, Greg, when she represented Wales in Scotland.
Her career highlight was gaining a silver medal in Croatia in 2008 in the European Field Championships.
JANETTE AND JEANETTE HOWELLS
Event: Individual Compound and Women’s team if qualified
The 48-year-old twins from Pontypridd – who are not identical but are extremely alike - got involved with archery after the whole family descended on their local club 22 years ago. They attended Hawthorn Comprehensive School and train at Pentref Bowmen in Llwynypia in Rhondda where they coach each other.
Janette is a legal assistant with a firm of solicitors in Cardiff while Jeanette is the Environmental Support Unit Manager for Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council.
Both athletes travelled to India in 2006 where they represented Wales in the Archery Commonwealth Cup.
They have already dyed their hair so people can tell them apart in Delhi.
From: Haverfordwest, lives in Llanelli
Event: Individual Compound and Men’s team if qualified
Tapani first tried his hand at archery while on a family holiday to Centre Parcs and has now been competing for eight and a half years.
The 20 year-old’s mum, dad (who is from Estonia) and sister are all involved in archery and he’s coached by Ray Howells at Pentref Bowmen in Rhondda.
Tapani once shot an arrow from one end of a rugby pitch to the other and hit the opposite crossbar, but his career highlight was making the British Senior Team in his first season as a senior archer.
From: Cardiff, lives in Newport
Event: Individual Compound and Men’s team if qualified
Andrew is 41 and has been competing in archery for 19 years; taking after his dad, brother and sister who are all involved in the sport. When he’s not training at Pentref Bowman Archery Club, he works as a Technical Manager in an architect’s practice in Cardiff.
Andrew has competed in India for Wales in the Commonwealth Archery Championships, as well as competing for Great Britain in two World Target Archery Championships in China and USA.
From: Bridgend, lives in Pontyclun
Event: Individual Compound and Men’s team if qualified
26 year-old Geraint has been competing for 16 years and trains at Canada Lake in Creigiau. Geraint’s career highlight to date was coming seventh at the IFAA (International Field Archery Association) Indoor Championships in Germany 2007.
From: Norfolk (family are from Cardiff)
Event: Wheelchair racing, track and road
Alldis may not have taken to the track had it not been for the intervention of Dame Tanni Grey Thompson. He had been a regular on the basketball court until nine years ago when Tanni – who still coaches the 24 year-old talent – took hum under her wing.
He’s a T54 wheelchair racer who competes in event ranging from 100m up to the marathon. Alldis was born with a spinal condition called spina bifida and hydrocephalous. He has very little muscle in his legs and struggles to walk.
The former Junior Wheelchair Marathon winner is supported by Disability Sport Wales and clinched gold in the 200m to a time of 26.74 in the 2006 World Junior Championships, as well as a bronze medal in both the 100m and 1500m events.
The Edmunsbury Borough Council worker also competed at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and the Beijing Olympics in 2008, where he qualified for the 800m, 1500m, 5000m and the marathon.
Event: F32 Seated Shot
Daniel first got involved in athletics at a school event. He has now been competing for three years.
The former Porth County Community Comprehensive pupil says that his coach, Anthony Hughes, has had the greatest impact on his career. He trains at the National Indoor Athletics Centre in Cardiff. He has been propelled to success by the Disability Sport Wales Academy Programme.
Delhi will be his first Commonwealth Games and he is looking to gain experience for for future major events.
25 year-old Lee started his athletics career 12 years ago as a middle distance runner before following in his older sister’s footsteps and taking up javelin throwing.
Previously a footballer and cricket player, Lee attended Morton School in Carlisle and now trains at the Cardiff International Sports Stadium where he also works as a gym instructor.
Coached by John Davies, his career highlights include winning a bronze medal at the 2009 British Championships and a gold medal at the 2007-2009 Welsh Championships.
PB – 75.12 (Carlisle 08/05/10)
A self-employed sports rehabilitator, Laura previously competed in the long jump and 100m. It wasn’t until she was asked to fill in for the discus at a Wrexham schools athletics event that she had her first taste of throwing.
Immediately taking to the sport, the 27 year-old decided to go for throws coaching where she took up the hammer and concentrated solely on that from the age of 17.
The Wrexham thrower has also competed for Wales in the shot and discus and puts a lot of her success down to the support she’s received from her parents along the way.
She competed at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006.
PB – 64.50m
Son of Brian and Jean Gowell, 25 year-old Christopher has been competing since the age of 15 and took the title of U20 AAA Champion in the 800m not long after.
Now living across the pond in Texas, Newport-born Gowell is studying for his Masters in Health Education at Baylor University and competing for his university team when not for Wales.
Ranked eighth in the UK in 2008 in the 800m, Christopher plays golf in his spare time and holds a handicap of three.
PB – 1.46.88 in 2009
Event: 400m hurdles
Recently crowned European Champion, Dai Greene was first introduced to athletics at Penygaer Primary School but didn’t begin training seriously until he went to UWIC at the age of 18 and joined Darrell Maynard’s training group. He graduated with a degree in Leisure and Sports Management in 2008. He is now based at the University of Bath and trains with Malcolm Arnold.
The 24 year-old once scored a goal against Real Madrid youth team when playing for Swansea City youth, but his real career highlights have been reaching the World Championship final in 2009 and winning gold at the European Championships in Barcelona 2010.
PB – 48.12 European Championships Final in Barcelona
2nd on UK All time list equal with David Hemery
Having played lots of sport at youth level, 19 year-old Benjamin found he excelled at rugby and athletics and before pursuing his athletics career played in the London Wasps academy.
Competing in the decathlon professionally for eight years, the retail worker has competed for Great Britain in combined events both home and abroad and now trains at Loughborough University with coach Alan Richardson.
PB – 7319 points in May 2010
Event: Shot Put F32
19 year-old Ashleigh was introduced to the sport through Disability Sport Wales Performance Manager Anthony Hughes, who is still his coach.
The Swansea-born athlete started out as a 60m and 100m sprinter and was names Junior Disability Sports Personality of the Year 2006 at the Swansea Sports Awards for his successes.
He has been competing for six years but has retrained and now mainly competes in the shot put and the discus.
He will be competing in the Shot put F32 in Delhi.
Event: 100m and 200m
31 year-old Malcolm arrived on the international scene in Zurich in 1997 when he beat the legendary Carl Lewis. 12 months later saw him thrill the nation by clinching 200m silver at Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games in a European junior and Welsh senior record time.
At the age of just 21 he stormed through to the finals at the Sydney Olympics where he finished fifth and ran through injury to come 4th in the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
Prior to the Athens Olympic Games in 2004, the Newport sprinter – who had trials with QPR and Nottingham Forest when he was younger – was hospitalised with kidney failure during his preparations at the Team GB holding camp in Cyprus.
Yet, despite the very serious setback, Malcolm did get out of the blocks and managed to reach the semi-finals of the 200m.
Beijing 2008 saw Malcolm feature in a line-up of world class sprinters in the final of the 200m where he came fifth behind the likes of Olympic Record holder Usain Bolt.
Malcolm has a trophy cabinet to be proud of and added to the collection with a silver medal at this year’s European Championships in Barcelona.
PB – 100m, 10.09
200m – 20.08
Event: 100m, 200m T37
Chepstow teenager Jenny Mcloughlin will turn 19 on the day of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Delhi. She has cerebal palsy.
The sprinter made her mark in 2007 by winning the UK School Games. Coached by Darrell Maynard, her talents have been cultivated by the Disability Sport Wales Academy which is designed to ensure that young Welsh disability athletes showing medal potential are provided with the essential starting blocks.
Her biggest challenge yet came when selected to compete for GB at the 2008 Paralympic Games at just 16 years-old.
PB – 15.14 secs
From: Cardiff, lives in Penarth
Now 21, Brett attended Stanwell Comprehensive School in Penarth and started his career when he was 17.
He trains at the NIAC in Cardiff and is coached by Nigel Bevan, with his main career highlights so far breaking the UK U23 record and UK senior indoor record both in 2010.
PB – 62.99 which is a UK record.
Event: 100m and 200m
21 year-old Elaine got involved in athletics through school and was encouraged to join an athletics club by her PE teacher.
From a sporty family, her parents both play squash and cycle, Elaine has been competing since the age of 14 and also played netball at county level.
Elaine made her first international debut in the World Junior Championships in Beijing 2006 and sees one of her highlights being when she achieved a personal best at the 60m in the Birmingham Grand Prix.
2009 saw her win a European U23 gold medal as part of the 4x100m relay team, running the fourth leg and going ‘absolutely nuts’ when the race came on the screen afterwards!
PB – 100m, 11.52
From: Pontypridd, lives in Merthyr Tydfil
A fluent Welsh speaker 29 year-old Carys attended Ysgol Gyfun Cymer in Rhondda and started out her athletics career as a middle distance runner. After getting bored with ‘going round and round in circles’ she took up the hammer which she has now been doing for 12 years.
In her spare time Carys is an actor and director and also took part in the last Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. She is coached by Lorraine Shaw and her dad.
Event: Pole Vault
A gymnast from a young age, 24 year-old Sally had her first taste of athletics at school and took it on when she got too old to continue with gymnastics.
Competing in the long and triple jump first, she moved to the pole vault just 18 months ago and reaching Commonwealth height is one of her career highlights.
Physiotherapist for Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust and the Football Association of Wales, Cardiff-born Sally once achieved four personal bests in just one competition to achieve qualifying height.
Event: Pole Vault
24 year-old Bryony from Cardiff began her career in sport as a gymnast before crossing over into athletics in 2005.
The Cardiff Harrier is coached by Scott Simpson and came home from the UK Championships in 2009 with a bronze medal.
Employed as a gymnastics coach, Delhi will be Bryony’s first Commonwealth Games.
From: Neath, lives in Swansea
24 year-old Matt got involved in athletics through school before moving on to an athletics club.
He’s been competing in the hammer for 10 years and his best achievement so far was winning the AAA U23 Championships.
An apprentice steel worker by trade, Neath-born Matt loves to surf in his spare time and has recently achieved his personal best.
PB – 60.50m
Not only does 32 year-old Philippa manage to train and compete intensively but she is also one of the very few athletes at her level to hold down a full-time job – as a train driver. Furthermore, she manages to get up at 03.30am to start the early shift so that she can train in the evenings with coach Mike Winch.
A double Olympian, Neath-born Philippa has been competing for 20 years after taking up athletics at Dwr-y-Felin School.
She first tasted victory in 1992 when she secured the AAA U15 gold medal in both the shot and discus events and went on to first compete for Wales in 1993 and GB in 1999.
PB – 62.89, Loughborough 2003.
RYAN SPENCER JONES
From: Aberdare, lives in Brecon
Event: Shot putt
Aberdare-born Ryan got his first taste of athletics and success when his secondary school PE teacher entered him into a Powys schools U17 competition – and he came first!
The 24 year-old progressed through the ranks to winning at Welsh schools level and took on the sport seriously from there.
A sports coach across Cardiff and east Wales, when not participating in sport he sets up camps and goes into schools to try and encourage as many youngsters to get involved as possible.
PB – 17.92
James started running cross country at school and went on to join his local club, the 32 year-old from Llanharan has now been competing for 20 years.
The Welsh Athletics Competitions Manager, James is in the perfect place as his job is based in the same place as he trains.
Coming fourth in the 1500m World Indoor Championships in 2004 is one of his career highlights and he once raced in Madison Square Gardens in New York and 16 hours later ran in the UK Championships – taking silver in both!
PB – 3.37.06
One of the youngest members of the squad, Delhi will be Joe’s first trip to a Commonwealth Games.
The 22 year-old from Pontypridd has been competing for 10 years after being introduced to athletics through his secondary school, Coedylan.
Coached by Arwyn Davies, Joe represented the senior GB team at the AAA U23 Championships.
PB - 1.46.22
* basic Welsh speaker
** fluent Welsh speaker
Event: Pole Vault
25 year-old Paul started out his athletics career in the hurdles, it wasn’t until he was drafted in to make up the numbers in a pole vault competition that he realised his potential, after clearing the same height as the eventual winner and coming in second place.
He has since been competing for 10 years and reached his personal best in a Welsh International meet this year and also set a new Welsh record.
Currently a PhD student in Sports Technology at Loughborough University, Walker comes from a sporting background. His dad played county level football while his mum ran cross country and 800m for Yorkshire. His uncles and granddad were all PE teachers and keen cricketers.
Walker features in the Beijing 2008 computer game as both the male and female pole vaulter.
PB – 5.43m
27 year-old Gareth has already experienced a Commonwealth Games after competing for Wales in Melbourne.
The librarian from Caernarfon started out his sports career in rugby and played for North Wales before turning his attention to athletics, he has since been competing for 10 years.
Along with the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Gareth classes winning a relay silver in the European Indoor Championships 2005 as one of his career highlights so far.
PB - in Slovenia July 2010
Event: 400m hurdles
Cardiff-born Rhys has followed in the family footsteps by choosing a career in sport; his dad was a British Lions and Welsh rugby player, his sister was involved in GB junior athletics and his brother also represents Wales in athletics.
Former pupil of Ysgol Gyfun Llanharri, he first got involved in athletics at the school and now trains in Bath with coach Malcolm Arnold and fellow 400m hurdler Dai Greene.
Williams recovered from a career threatening injury to take the silver medal in the European Championships in Barcelona earlier this year, he also competed in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne 2006.
PB – 48.96, European Championships, Barcelona 2010
From: St Asaph
Event: Ladies doubles with Carissa Turner / mixed doubles with James Phillips
21 year-old Caroline started playing badminton on a family trip to a campsite before joining a local club eight years ago – both of her parents play recreationally.
A former Brynford Primary School, Holyhead High School and Flintshire and Llandrillo College student, St Asaph-born Caroline has also represented North Wales in junior athletics.
She trains at the Sport Wales National Centre with coaches Matthew Hughes and Martyn Lewis and her career highlight has been travelling all over Europe while competing for Wales.
PB – Being selected for the World Championship team in Glasgow 2007.
JAMES VAN HOOIJDONK
From: Originally Leverkusen, now Swansea
Event: Mens singles
Born in Germany, brought up in Holland and then moved to Swansea, 19 year-old Jamie has been competing for nine years after originally taking up judo and competing to a high standard.
He is coached by Eddie O’Neill and sees his career highlight so far to be winning a silver medal at the European Junior Championships in Milan in April 2009.
Michael Schumacher is his all time sporting hero and he enjoys listening to his vinyl collection in his spare time.
From: Gorseinon, lives in Cardiff
Event: Mens doubles with James Phillips / mixed doubles with Sarah Thomas
31 year-old Jonathan has been competing for 18 years and is ranked 41 in the world. Former Halfway Primary School pupil, he now trains at the Sport Wales National Centre where he is coached by Chris Rees.
When he’s not playing badminton he works as a civil servant for the Department for Work and Pensions and his career highlights to date include becoming Croatian Open Champion 2010 and reaching the Commonwealth Games Quarter Finals in 2006.
PB – Welsh National Champion 2010
Event: Mens doubles with Jonathan Morgan / mixed doubles with Caroline Harvey
James used to play badminton with his Dad and sister before becoming serious about the sport and joining the Dilwyn Llewllyn junior club. He has now been competing for 12 years and when he’s not playing the games, is an event organiser for Welsh Badminton.
Former Dunvant Primary and Olchfa Secondary pupil, he trains at the Sport Wales National Centre with coaches Matthew Hughes and Martyn Lewis.
His career highlights include reaching the quarter finals of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006, winning the National Men’s Doubles title in 2010 and mixed title in 2008 and becoming the Croatian International Winner in 2010.
Event: Ladies singles / mixed doubles with Jonathan Morgan
Cardiff-born Sarah has been playing badminton for 10 years and now trains at the Sport Wales National Centre with coach Richard Vaughn.
The former Whitchurch High School pupil has previously been to India when she competed in the Youth Commonwealth Games and her career highlight so far is getting into the World top 100 in singles aged 16.
PB – Winning the senior nationals in ladies singles twice by the age of 17 and winning the under 17 quadrangler last year.
Event: Ladies doubles with Caroline Harvey
Fluent Welsh speaker Carissa took up badminton six years ago after an injury while horse riding left her unable to swim or do gymnastics.
She attended Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr in Cardiff where she now coaches, as well as coaching 5x60 activities at Cantonian High School and St Iltyds and is trying to set-up a summer school for children to play badminton throughout the holidays.
The 21 year-old trains at the Sport Wales National Centre with coaches Matthew Hughes and Martyn Lewis. She admits to being forgetful and once forgot her trainers for a tournament in France and had to wear her male coaches!
Her career highlights include becoming National Champion and beating the number 65 in the world from India in singles at the Welsh International 2009.
PB – Carissa is ranked 53 in the world (April 2010)
From: Graigwen, Pontypridd
Weight: 81kg (Light heavyweight)
Pontypridd boxer, Jermaine Asare, is the 2010 WABA Light Heavyweight Champion. Asare is an athletic boxer and has the potential to perform well in Delhi. Boxing out of Merthyr Ex Serviceman’s ABC, won his place on the team for Delhi after taking on Shotton ABC’s Kia Joinson at Swansea Leisure Centre.
He is coached by Gareth Donovan and Robbie James. He is 6ft 1” and has been boxing for six years. Asare is an electrician and has represented Wales against Finland. His boxing hero is Floyd Mayweather.
Asare has also played football for Swansea and Cardiff City.
Weight: 60kg (Lightweight)
Darren first stepped into the ring eleven years ago in his home town of Port Talbot and since then, he has secured three Four Nations titles, seven Welsh titles and three gold medals in Multination Championships. He hung up his boxing gloves after securing a bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne which he says is his greatest achievement.
But he decided to step back into the ring in 1999 and is looking to secure gold. Boxing for Cwmavon Hornets, he’s 5ft 11” and has been boxing for 16 years. He has lost count of his number of bouts but he says it’s in excess of 100. His favourite boxer of all-time is Muhammad Ali. When he’s not in the ring, he likes to watch gangster moves like Scarface.
From: St Mellons, Cardiff
Weight 69kg (Welterweight)
Fred Evans is just 19 years old but has bright prospects. He has already secured three gold medals at European tournaments with the GB team. He has a string of medals from Four Nation tournaments, securing gold in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
In 2008, he battled his way to silver at the GB Championships. Perhaps his most prestigious achievements to date include his victory at the 2010 Commonwealth Federation Championships and his triumph at the European Cadet Championships in Hungary in 2007.
He boxes out of St Joseph’s in Newport and is trained by Tony Borg. GB Boxing describe him as a “fearless boxer with a renowned punch and skills to match.”
In 2008, the British Olympic Association flew him out to Beijing as part of their Olympic Ambition Scheme. The aim was to introduce bright talents to the scale and size of the event.
Jim Davison, GB Development squad coach, describes Fred as: “A courageous, very talented and experienced boxer.” ‘Fredboy’, as he’s known to his friends, has only lost four bouts in a total of 64. When he’s not in the ring, he enjoys running, snooker, rugby and darts. His all-time boxing hero is Muhammad Ali.
Weight: 91kg (heavyweight)
Evans already has three Commonwealth medals under his belt from 2006, 2002 and 1998. He can also boast a bronze medal at the 1999 World Championships in Texas.
Kevin stormed to silver four years ago at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. He lost to England’s David Price in the super-heavyweight final.
Since Melbourne 2006, Kevin has become a father to Storm, Dolly and Summer. Summer is the latest addition to the Evans family, having arrived last Tuesday (10 August 2010).
Weight: 75kg (Middleweight)
This Middleweight who boxes out of Penarth has great potential. Already, he has notched up an impressive trophy cabinet, winning gold at Four Nations tournaments in 2004 and 2007. More recently, he captained the boxing team at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Pune, India and grabbed bronze – this, he says, is his greatest achievement to date. He is also the reigning WABA Middleweight Champion. He is 6ft and has been boxing for eight years. He is a scaffolder by trade but would like to become a professional boxer after the Games in Delhi.
When Kieron is out of the ring and is relaxing, he likes to spend time with his baby son, Harley.
From: Garnant, Carms
Weight: 64kg (Light welterweight)
Christopher Jenkins has managed to make a significant impact on the boxing scene during his five years on the circuit.
He has secured a multitude of medals at Four Nations championships, including a gold medal in 2004. In 2006, he became the youngest ever boxer from Wales to be selected for the Commonwealth Games. He competed in the flyweight category but is now boxing as a light welterweight.
Earlier this year, the Cwmgors ABC boxer grabbed a silver medal at the Commonwealth Federation Championships. He is 5ft 9” and has been boxing for nine years. He has won 49 of 63 bouts. Nicknamed ‘Too Smooth’, he is a sports physio. The lowest point in his career came when he was injured for 12 months.
ANDREW WYN JONES
From: Saltney, Flintshire
Weight: 91+ kg (Super heavyweight)
The Deva Police ABC boxer claimed the WABA Super Heavyweight crown earlier this year for a record-breaking fifth year in a row. Defeating John Boland 18-10 in the final, Jones claimed his place on the flight to Delhi. In 2009, he also became the GB Super Heavyweight Champion. Wales team bosses believe that Jones has the potential to succeed. Jones works in maintenance for the water board. He’s nicknamed ‘Hightower’ and it’s no wonder – he’s 6ft 4”. He also enjoys Mixed Martial Arts.
Weight 56kg (Featherweight)
McGoldrick was the WABA Youth Champion in 2006 and again in 2009 before claiming a silver medal at the GB Championships in the same year. Earlier this year, he also secured the WABA Senior Bantamweight Champion. Despite the fact he boxes in a highly competitive weight category, the St Joseph’s club boxer has really excelled over the last last 12 months and has now joined the GB squad.
His coach, Tony Borg, believes that one of McGoldrick’s greatest strengths is his discipline. He has beaten international boxers who are in weight categories above him as well as Amir Khan’s brother.
Nicknamed ‘Quiet Man’, he first joined the gym with brother Liam after watching boxing on the TV. He hopes to compete at the Olympics and, one day, turn professional. He is 5ft 5” and has been boxing for eight years. He has won 48 of 60 bouts.
From: Blaengwynfi, Neath now lives in Barry
Club: Splott ABC, Cardiff
Weight: 52 kg (Flyweight)
According to boxing aficionados, Selby has a good chance of medalling at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. He has already won two gold medals at European tournaments with the GB team. In 2009, he also became GB Champion. Selby has entered the history books as the first senior boxer from Wales to win a medal (bronze) at the European Championships. Even Calzaghe didn’t manage it.
Nicknamed ‘Smowgley’, he joined the local gym because his father and his “gramp” both boxed. And forget fast cars – Selby takes time out by playing bingo, snooker and likes to go fishing. He’s 5ft 7” and has been boxing for 13 years. He has won 70 of 90 bouts.
From: Llanfaes, Brecon
Has been racing for six years. The former Brecon High School pupil is coached by Simon Cope. This will be her first ever Commonwealth Games but she has raced in the 2008 World Championships Women’s Road Race and on the World Cup circuit throughout 2008 and 2009. She will be supporting Nicole Cooke in the road race. She first took up cycling after she was tested at school by the Welsh Talent Team. She was quickly snapped up by British Cycling’s Olympic Development Programme. She now rides for 100% ME.
From: Tywyn, Gwynedd
Kara started cycling by joining her local club as a way to get fit. When she’s not training in and around the hills of Wales, she’ll be relaxing with her husband and children. She will be supporting Nicole Cooke in her medal quest.
From: Wick, Near Cowbridge
Event: Road, Time Trial
In the last two Commonwealth Games, Nicole has made it onto the podium. In 2002, it was in gold medal position and in 2006, she claimed bronze.
Added to that, she has a whole host of achievements to her name – including gold at the Beijing Olympic Games - and is one of Wales’ greatest sporting talents.
Asked how it all started, she says, “While growing up we did a lot of cycling as a family, even our holidays were on tandems! Then when the chance came to do a race I wanted to give it a try!”
Most of her training is now based in Switzerland and she is coached by Silke Pannhorst.
When’s she not training or racing, Nicole likes to read, listen to music and learn languages.
Born and raised in Cardiff, Paul’s passion for cycling all started at the Maindy Track. He has since moved to Colorado and now trains in the Rocky Mountains. He’s a father of two – the second he delivered on his own at home with his wife: “It wasn't intended to be that way either, it was quite an adventure!” He finished fifth in the road race at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur and has also won the Paris-Auxerre. He speaks some Welsh.
Event: Track and Road
Alex started cycling at the age of eight when her Dad took her down to the Maindy Track in Cardiff.
Since then, she has notched up a number of victories across Europe. She claimed the title of Junior European Points Race Champion in 2007- an achievement she repeated in 2008 and she also added the team pursuit title to her CV. In 2009, in a World Cup series event in Manchester, she took bronze in the scratch race. She is a former Bryn Hafren Comprehensive pupil.
She currently rides for Horizon Fitness Racing Team.
Sam’s cycling career all started when the doors were thrown open to the Wales National Velodrome. And he hasn’t looked back since. 2010 has been a busy year for the former Cwmcarn High School pupil. He’s been busy juggling training with his A-level studies. His coach is Darren Tudor and he trains out of the Velodrome. In 2009, Sam stormed to silver in the team pursuit at the European Junior Track Championships last year. He followed it up with a bronze in the Madison.
Becky is a member of British Cycling’s Olympic Development Programme and is currently training with the GB team in Manchester. In 2009, she won two golds (keirin and sprint) and a silver in the 500m time trial at the UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships.
Becky is one of six brothers and sisters. Her younger sisters, Ffion and Megan, both cycle too.
She has just finished her A-levels and is now a full-time cyclist training in Manchester. Becky is on British Cycling’s Academy Programme.
Event: Track and road
For as long as he can remember, Rhys has always wanted to be a sportsman. His Dad played rugby so he could easily have followed suit but it was cycling that grabbed his attention. His career highlight to date is riding the Tour of Britain in 2008.
From: Coytrahen, near Bridgend
Angharad is a relative newcomer to the sport. She only started cycling 18 months ago after taking part in a triathlon. Her background is that of endurance running but she has also represented Wales in karate as a black belt. She is a physiotherapist and specializes in sports injuries. This will be her first ever Commonwealth Games but her second trip to India. She holidayed there five years ago. She is a Welsh speaker.
From: Builth Wells
DOB: DOB 30/9/89
This former cross country runner turned to cycling after joining her local mountain biking club. She is coached by Phil Dixon and trains in Wales and Manchester. She is a keen piano player and is a member of the British Cycling Academy programme. In 2009, she represented Great Britain in the World Mountain Biking Championships.
Event: Road, track
Jon decided to give cycling a go after visiting the Wales National Velodrome. He’s now been competing for five years.
Like Luke Rowe, he now trains in Italy with coach Max Sciandri. His proudest moment to date is becoming European Champion in the Madison.
Lewis was first inspired to take up cycling after watching Jason Queally win gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. A former Monmouth Boys School pupil, he was first interested in rowing and competed at schoolboy level. When he’s not training and competing, you can find him playing the drums. He is coached by Jon Norfolk at the Wales National Velodrome. Lewis is still at school, studying for A levels in Biology, Chemistry, English and French. He is supported by British Cycling’s Olympic Development Programme.
His career highlight to date is pulling on the GB skinsuit for the first time and winning the National Junior Keirin title.
PB 10:57 for a flying 200m at Junior World Track Championships in Moscow, 2009
From: Hope, near Wrexham?
Event: Road and Time Trial
Rob first started in cycling after avidly watching the Tour de France on the TV. He is now a professional rider and currently races with Endura Racing. He is coached by Rob Hayles who is captain of the Endura Racing team. He lists competing at the 2006 Commonwealth Games as one of his biggest achievements but his best moment on a bike was when he got chatting to Lance Armstrong during the Tour of Ireland. His favourite bike ride starts out at his parents’ house in Cymau, over to Llangollen, Corwen, Bala and around the lake and back. His pre-race ritual is to always clean his bike, kit, glasses and shoes and to have egg and bacon for breakfast.
From: Near Caldicot
Event: Road and track
It was by chance that Hannah first took to the track. She was a national level trampolinist and was training in the centre of the Wales National Velodrome and decided she should give track cycling a go. She credits former Olympian Julian Winn as having had a big impact on her career. Her career highlight is winning the National Senior Scratch Race title when she was still a junior.
Event: Track, road
Event: Cycling is a family affair in the Rowe household. Like Nicole Cooke, he started out with his parents on a tandem. He’s now been racing for ten years and now trains mostly in Italy with coach Max Sciandri. His career highlight to date has been winning an Under 23 World Cup race in the Netherlands last season.
He made his European debut as a member of the team pursuit squad that took the gold medal at the 2007 European Track Championships. He finished second in the 2008 European Road Race Championships and won the Madison (along with Mark Christian) and the silver in the team pursuit at the 2008 European Track Championships.
His brother Matt is also a racing cyclist and his father, Courtney, coaches the Paralympic medallist Simon Richardson.
19 year-old Grant Gardiner has been competing in gymnastics for eight years after taking it up at a gym in Colchester.
Aldershot-born Grant thinks of his coach, Simon Elliot, and his family as his greatest influences and when not training at Woking Gymnastics Club he also work there.
PB – 81.75 London Open 2010
Wrexham-born Matthew followed in his mother’s footsteps by becoming a gymnast.
He started out 15 years ago in Wrexham and now trains at the Newcastle Gymnastics Academy under the watchful eye of coach Paul Edwards.
The 20 year-olds career highlight so far was competing in the Junior Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia when he was 14. He was also part of the winning team at the Northern European Championships in 2009.
PB – 82.05 achieved in a friendly competition.
When he’s not competing in gymnastics, Wrexham’s Rob Hunter is a vehicle mechanic in the Army and was introduced to the sport through his parents’ encouragement 12 years ago.
Former Castell Alun High School pupil, Rob now lives in Newcastle Upon Tyne and is coached alongside Matthew Hennessey by Paul Edwards.
Rhythmic gymnast Frankie started in gymnastics as a hobby and has now been competing for nine years. She’s a former pupil of Sir Christopher Hatton School in Wellingborough and trains in Birmingham.
Her career highlight so far was competing in the World Championships in 2009 in Mie in Japan.
Clinton’s first experience of gymnastics was doing forward rolls down the stairs at home; he has now been competing for 10 years.
Former pupil of Tonyrefail School in Rhondda Cynon Taff and now trains in Barry with coach Peter Haysham. A freelance builder by trade, his career highlight so far has been winning gold on the pommel horse in Norway.
17 year-old Alex lives in Llanelli and has been competing for eight years after attending a local gymnastics club. He now trains at the Swansea Gymnastics Centre and is coached by Chris Jones
His career highlight was winning the Celtic Cup in 2007 and 2008.
22 year-old Emma was first introduced to hockey by her parents taking her to a local club; she has since been competing for 11 years.
Most of her family are involved in sport in one way or another – some to a very high standard.
She spends most of her training time at Loughborough University and is coached by Jerome Goudie.
Alys Brooks is the youngest member of the squad and originally from Wrexham. As many hockey players did, the 21 year-old started playing hockey at secondary school and has been competing for six years.
A student of Birmingham University, she helped her hockey team gain promotion into the premier division in 2009 and also won a bronze medal in Rome with the Welsh Senior squad at the European Championships.
Swansea-born Natalie was inspired by her PE teacher to get involved in hockey and has been competing for six years.
Sport is certainly in the blood in the Blyth family with her sister having represented Wales in gymnastics, her dad a former cricketer and her mum having swam for Wales.
When not playing hockey Natalie works full time as a Business Crime and Crime Prevention Media Officer and classes one of her hockey highlights to be playing in the Wales Seniors Open squad at just 17.
The 22 year-old has previously captained the U18 squad and travelled to Sicily and competed in the A division tournament – the highest level gained for a Welsh squad.
From: Born in Cardiff now in Caerphilly
Introduced to the sport through her ‘hockey mad’ mother, 26 year-old Katrin has been competing for 14 years.
A PE teacher by trade, the Cardiff-born player was part of the bronze medal-winning squad at Rome’s European Championships in 2009 and classes qualifying for the Commonwealth Games as one of her career highlights.
From: Church Village
It was a choice of football or hockey for 24 year-old Emma, and luckily for the Welsh Senior squad she chose hockey after also playing international football for Wales.
Competing for nine years, Emma has won gold and promotion into the European A division at U21 level and was a member of the bronze medal winning squad at last year’s European Championships.
A chartered physiotherapist, the Chruch Village-born player is just as sporty as her sibling. Brother Alun played for both Cardiff and Swansea City football clubs to youth and reserve level and also represented Wales at junior level cricket.
When not playing hockey, 26 year-old Carys works in HR for Cardiff University.
Capped for her country 50 times, she captained the side at the April 2010 World Cup qualifiers. She was introduced to hockey through her school club and has been competing at a senior level since 2003.
Born in Pontypridd, Carys also played football for Wales Women U14s and competed for South Wales in the long jump and 4x100 relay.
She splits her training time between Cardiff and Bristol.
From: Taunton, Somerset
Philippa followed in her father’s footsteps when taking up hockey, as she was first introduced to the sport through watching him play every week.
Showing promise for her school side, the 29 year-old was encouraged by her PE teacher to go for Wales U16 trials – she has been competing for 14 years.
Now the Head of Games at Tudor Hall in Banbury, Philippa played in the Junior World Cup in Argentina in 2001 and the European A division in Barcelona 2003.
Neath-born Claire started playing hockey alongside her twin sister, until a back injury put her sibling out of the game for many years.
Competing for 15 years she started playing at secondary school, whilst also competing for her county in badminton.
Her best performance was during the 2009/10 season when representing Bowden Hightown in the Club Europeans in Berlin, closely followed by playing for Wales in the World Cup qualifiers in Russia.
Her hockey highlight so far was winning bronze in Rome in 2009; earning the senior squad a place in the World Cup qualifiers and this year’s Commonwealth Games.
25 year-old Dawn not only plays hockey but she works in hockey too! A hockey development officer for Sport.Cardiff she works with schools and clubs to try and encourage people to take up the sport.
After enjoying the sport in her PE lessons at school, Cardiff-born Dawn joined a club at the age of 11 and started playing for Wales at just 13.
She got her first senior cap against England in Barcelona 2003 and sees winning bronze in Rome 2009 as one of her key highlights.
She trains at the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff.
Another hockey player from a sporty family, Elen’s sister, Sioned, was once an elite gymnast, her other sister is a PE teacher and both parents are keen golfers.
The 26 year-old started playing hockey at secondary school and has since been competing for 13 years; she also played netball and swam at a national level when she was younger.
Account Manager for a marketing agency in London, Elen enjoys walking her two black Labradors in her spare time.
Winning the bronze at the European Championships in Rome last July and attending the World Cup qualifiers in April this year have been her best hockey moments so far.
Louise Pugh-Bevan is one of the more experienced members of the squad and has been playing for Wales since 2003.
Head of sixth form and a dance teacher by trade, Louise used to be a gymnast and has been competing at club level for 15 years; winning national indoor and outdoor titles along the way.
Ella and both of her sister play hockey and she has been competing for 12 years.
Voted Player of the Tournament for Wales at the European Championships in 2006 is one of her greatest achievements and preparing for the Commonwealth Games will definitely go down as one of her highlights.
The 28 year-old from Pontypool is a clinical psychologist for the Cardiff and Vale University LHB.
MARGARET (MAGGS) REES
When not playing hockey, 29 year-old Maggs works in a busy theatre in Birmingham creating scenery and furniture for the stage using welding, joinery and sculpture.
On of her most enjoyable hockey moments was playing in the U21 World Cup in Argentina as it was her first taste of world class hockey and meant she played against teams she never had before.
Maggs plays in goal and is looking forward to facing some great strikers out in Delhi.
Not just talented at hockey, Maggs also played for Wales’ U19 rugby side and loves to go running in the rain.
After studying for a degree in Sport Science at Exeter University, the midfield/forward player upped sticks to go and play hockey in Rotterdam.
She has been competing for 16 years and travelled to Beijing as part of the GB squad for the Olympic Games in 2008.
One of the most experienced members of the squad Sarah will bring a wealth of experience with her.
29 year-old Abi has been competing for 18 years and started playing at secondary school.
Now a PE teacher at Brynteg Comprehensive School in Bridgend one of her finest hockey moment so far was coming 11th in a Junior World Cup when only ranked 16th.
Both parents and her sister play hockey so 23 year-old Leah is in good company.
She was introduced to the sport at the age of five after her parents took her along to a mini’s hockey session; she has been competing for 18 years.
Also showing promise at judo and playing football for Derby County Ladies, the Bristol-born player decided to focus on hockey from the age of 16.
Now a hockey coach in Bristol and also doing coaching work for the University of Bath, Leah classes winning the U21 European Championships in Swansea 2004 as one of her hockey highlights.
Having played for Wales since 2007, Emma is currently the Wales Senior Womens Indoor Captain and has won league and cup titles, both indoor and outdoor with her club.
A PE teacher by trade, 24 year-old Emma was inspired by her fitness enthused PE teacher. Emma was an aspiring Welsh 800m runner and had to make the decision of athletics or hockey during comprehensive school.
Career highlight to date is her representation at the BDO World Cup Qualifier and the Commonwealth Games Squad.
Barry-born Chris started his bowling career at Heath Bowling Club where his father and grandfather were both members, he has since been competing for 23 years.
A Senior Avionics Technician at BAAE Avionics in Talbot Green, the 38 year-old was crowned Welsh Fours Champion in 1994 and Welsh Pairs Champion in 2001.
He once arrived a week early for an international trial in Newport!
From: Cellan, Carmarthen
A Ward Sister by day at the West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen, Anwen manages to juggle work with a young family and a successful bowls career.
She has already tasted Commonwealth Games success – she took a bronze in the pairs in Manchester 2002. Now she’s ready to do it again in Delhi – this time with new partner Hannah Smith who is also from Carmarthen.
Her glittering career also includes winning gold in the fours at the 2009 Atlantic Championships. A year later, she bagged the bronze, again in the triples, at the 2008 World Bowls Championships.
It all started when Anwen was just 13 – she followed her parents into the game and has never looked back. She’s now continuing the family tradition by encouraging her children, Alis and Hari, to play.
From: Church Village
Carol is the reigning Welsh Fours and Pairs Woods Singles champion. She lives in Bedlinog, near Merthyr, with husband Frank and their two children, Gavin and Sally. A chance encounter led to Carol’s passion for bowls. A friend persuaded her to join the village bowls club – that was back in 1986 and she’s been hooked ever since.
She can’t wait to get out to Delhi to experience a different culture and to meet new people – and she’s hoping to bag a medal too!
When she’s not in training, Carol loves to go walking with her Jack Russell, Jip, who she says is helping her to prepare by keeping her fit. She is also working with a Sport Wales sport psychologist to help her prepare mentally for the challenge that awaits her in Delhi.
38 year-old Michael was introduced to the sport by his father and has been competing for the past 20 years. In that time he’s managed to be crowned Welsh Pairs Champion in 2006, Welsh Fours Champion in 2008 and British Isles Fours Champion in 2009.
The former Ysgol Bro Ddyfi pupil is a Welsh speaker and is a skilled gardener by trade.
From: Dinas Powys
40 year-old Jason has certainly followed in his parents footsteps, as both have previously competed for Wales in bowls.
After taking up the sport at the same time as his parents, Jason has now been competing since 1979 and is the current Welsh indoor singles champion.
Ranked number two in the world bowls tour, the Vale of Glamorgan bowler won gold in the pairs and bronze in the singles at the 2009 Atlantic Championships.
From: Garthmyl, near Welshpool
We have Isabel’s husband to thank for this Mid Wales talent. Isabel only started playing bowls because Mr Jones used to play in local club, Berriew.
Since then, she’s come a long way. In 2009, she was a member of the Welsh team to compete at the 2009 Atlantic Championships. She took a hat-trick of gold medals – in the fours, in the triples and in the team event. She will be looking to use her midas touch once again in Delhi.
Isabel has been playing for 18 years and other career highlights include a silver in the triples at the 2007 Atlantic Championships and a silver in the fours at the 2008 World Championships.
From: Berriew, near Welshpool
A clinical nurse specialist, Kathy trains in Berriew near Welshpool. In 2009, she travelled to the Atlantic Championships where she collected two golds (triples and team event) and a silver in the singles. This adds to the clutch of trophies in the Pearce cabinet which also includes a bronze medal from the 2008 World Championships and, perhaps her career highlights, the World Singles Champion of Champions accolade from 2008.
From: Llandrindod Wells
Wendy trains mostly at Llandrindod Wells’ outdoor green. She is employed to manufacture weather station equipment. She won a hat-trick of gold medals at the 2009 Atlantic Championships – in the fours, in the triples and in the team event. She also won silver in the four at the 2008 World Bowls Championships.
46 year-old Martin from Caerphilly was introduced to the sport by his grandfather and has been competing for 28 years.
And it’s certainly a family affair, Martin’s wife and two daughters, one of which has represented Wales at U25, also play bowls.
Martin won two bronze medals in the 2009 Atlantic Championships in both the triples and the fours, and was once mistaken for Dracula actor, Gary Oldman!
*Basic Welsh speaker
At 23, Hannah is Team Wales’ youngest bowls player in Delhi. This will be her first ever Commonwealth Games. It all started when she was on the sidelines, watching her father play.
In fact, she says that she has been going down to her local bowling green since she was a baby in a pram. After years of watching her father play, she asked if she could join in and immediately fell in love with the game.
She took gold at the prestigious Atlantic Championships in 2009.
By day, Hannah is a nursery assistant at the crèche at Trinity College.
47 year-old Robert is one of the most experienced members of the men’s bowls squad, after winning a gold, three silvers and a bronze in previous Commonwealth Games, and carrying the Welsh team flag in Kuala Lumpur 1998. He has been competing for Wales since 1982.
The Herefordshire Housing Limited employee holds a record 91 caps and as well as his Commonwealth Games medals, has won gold in the pairs and bronze in the fours at the 2009 Atlantic Championships. He is nicknamed The Silent Assassin.
He was introduced to the sport through his Dad and his Dad’s friend and splits his training time between the outdoor green at Presteigne and indoor in Islwyn.
Caerphilly’s Marc was introduced to bowls by his father and has been competing for 21 years.
Welsh Fours Champion in 2006 and coming home with two bronze medals from the four and triples at the 2009 Atlantic Championships, the 32 year-old is the youngest member of the men’s squad and is in sales for a meat wholesaler when not bowling.
Event: Olympic Skeet (shotgun)
Malcolm first competed for Wales in the Olympic Skeet in 1990 and has since represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games in 1998, 2002, and in 2006.
The 48 year-old from Abercarn was ranked GB number one in 2009 and was crowned Commonwealth Champion in 2010. He has been ranked the Welsh number one since 2001.
He works full time as a design engineer and enjoys spending time at home when not competing.
Event: Women’s prone rifle / individual & pairs
Johanne has already been to three Commonwealth Games and returned home with a medal for each, one of which was gold.
In 2009 she finished equal third in the European Championships and in the same year equalled the current world record.
Jo will be representing GBR at the World Shooting Championships in Munich at the beginning of August.
Event: Women’s 3x20 (fullbore)
Jennifer was brought up in Carrog in North Wales and joined the GB junior squad at just 12 years-old. Now 23, she represented GB in the U21 European Championships at just 14 and also competed for Wales at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006.
Now living in Caterham, Surrey, Jennifer works full time in a veterinary lab in Horsham and trains at Croydon Rifle Club.
Her career highlight so far is representing Wales at the Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championships in 2010, winning pairs silver and bronze badge 3p and coming 4th in air rifle.
Her twin sister, Sian, is also competing in Delhi.
Event: Women’s 3x20 (fullbore)
Twin sister of Jennifer Corish, Sian was brought up in North Wales and started rifle shooting just before her 11th birthday.
Progressing through the school and country ranks, the 23 year-old was invited to join the GB Development Squad and has since represented GB at eight U21 Championships and two World Championships, as well as competing at two Senior World Cups, two Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championships and has now been selected for her third Commonwealth Games.
Sian works as a physiotherapist at Bognor War Memorial Hospital in Bognor Regis.
Event: Men’s 3x40 (fullbore)
Wrexham-born Croydon has previously competed in two Commonwealth Games, finishing fourth place in Melbourne in 2006.
Having already competed in India this year at the Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championships, 29 year-old John is self employed and enjoys outdoor walks in his spare time.
Event: Men’s prone rifle
Jamie competed at the Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championships in New Delhi earlier this year and will be returning to India with Team Wales for his first Commonwealth Games.
Father of four children, Jamie previously won gold at the Commonwealth Shooting Federation in 2008, reached the British Championship final in 2008 and was crowned Welsh National Champion in 2009.
From: Colwyn Bay
Event: Women’s Olympic Trap (shotgun)
Cheryl has shot competitively for 25 years, representing Wales at home internationals and progressing to representing Wales at overseas internationals. Delhi will be the 59 year-olds first Commonwealth Games.
A keen gardener, Cheryl recently won gold at the Cyprus Grand Prix and trains with pairs partner Jackie Lewis.
Event: Women’s Air Pistol
After missing out on selection four years ago, Delhi will be Rachel’s first Commonwealth Games.
The Welsh speaker from Carmarthen enjoys golf, horse riding and swimming and won the British Junior Championships in 2007.
Event: Mens Standard Pistol, Centre fire pistol and Rapid fire pistol
Alan Green currently lives in Switzerland to enable him to train regularly. Delhi will be his second Commonwealth Games after appearing in Melbourne in 2006.
He has won medals at the Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championships in 2005 and earlier this year in New Delhi.
Event: Women’s Olympic Trap (shotgun)
39 year-old Jackie is originally from Shrewsbury and now lives in Hereford. Delhi will be her first Commonwealth Games after converting to Olympic Trap 15 months ago.
Event: Olympic trap (Shotgun)
The youngest member of the squad, Scott has represented GB on many occasions throughout 2008, 2009 and 2010 and will be travelling to his first Commonwealth Games with the team in September.
Before Delhi he will be competing for GB at the World Championships in August and earlier this year made the final at the Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championships.
An apprentice in mechanical engineering, the 20 year-old’s career highlight is winning a European Junior Team Gold Medal.
Event: Fullbore rifle (Open) – individual & pairs
Gareth started shooting in 1989 and took up full-bore in 1990. Despite shooting in the GB U19 team in 1994, Gareth did not receive his first GB cap until 2006, but then went on to be part of the team which won the World Long Range Championships in 2007.
He now has over 20 international caps for Wales, including the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
With shooting partner, Robert Oxford, Gareth won three of the four gold medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championships in Delhi – the same venue as this year’s Commonwealth Games.
Event: Fullbore Rifle (Open)
Robert recently travelled to Delhi for the Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championships where he won two gold medals in the 300mtr and the queens.
This will be his first Commonwealth Games and when not running his own software business, organises club sport for others.
Event: Mens Standard Pistol, Centre fire pistol and Rapid fire pistol
51 year-old Steve started pistol shooting in 1982 and first represented Wales in February 1986. He became a member of the GB pistol squad in 1990, and has remained a member of both squads every year to date.
Having already represented Wales at four Commonwealth Games, his fifth appearance in Delhi will mean he has equalled the record for shooters, currently jointly held by Lord Swansea and James Birkett Evans.
Outside of shooting, Steve served for 30 years in the Royal Air Force as an aircraft technician and is now employed as a civil servant.
Event: Men’s prone rifle
33 year-old David has been shooting since the age of four and has been competing internationally for Wales and GB since the age of 14, in which time he has won numerous caps at all levels.
Tesco-worker David has represented Wales at two Commonwealth Games and it was in Melbourne in 2006 that he reached the peak of his career so far in winning individual gold in the men’s prone competition, along with a bronze in the pairs event.
Event: Olympic Skeet (Shotgun)
Rhys will be competing in his first Commonwealth Games after converting from English Skeet.
Ranked Welsh number two behind pairs partner Malcolm Allen, Rhys has recently completed a three year apprenticeship and is now an electrical fitter.
His career highlights include coming third at the Grand Prix in Malta and being named Best Overseas Shooter.
Event: Women’s prone rifle / women’s 3x20 /individual & pairs
Although Helen has represented Great Britain on many occasions since the age of 15, Delhi will be Helen’s first Commonwealth Games. She was a member of the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune 2008 so has already had a taste of what it’s like to compete in India.
Her career highlight so far has been winning the pairs medal at the Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championships earlier this year with Johanne Burke.
Currently a student at Glamorgan University, the 20 year-old is studying Sport and Exercise Science whilst also working part-time at Pontypool Active Living Centre.
Event: Women’s Air Pistol
Nicola has represented Wales on many occasions and the 30 year-olds career highlight is winning her first gold medal at the Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championships in Gibraltar in 2008.
She achieved her personal best at the West Midlands Open in June 2010 and holds the Welsh record in 10m air pistol.
When she’s not shooting, Nicola investigates identity fraud at the DVLA.
Event: Men’s Olympic Trap (Shotgun)
An Engineering Director for Corus, Mike will be travelling to his third Commonwealth Games having won a bronze medal in the team event in Manchester 2002.
The 39 year-old from Abergavenny has represented GBR seven times at World Cups and European Championships.
Mixed Doubles - Ryan and Naomi; Stephen & Angharad; Patrick & Charlotte
From: Abergavenny, lives in Newport
Event: Singles, Team, Women’s Doubles (with Megan Phillips), Mixed Doubles (with Patrick Thomas)
14 year-old Charlotte followed in her mother and grandfather’s footsteps who both played table tennis at county level.
Charlotte started playing in 2006 and trains at the Sport Wales National Centre under the watchful eye of coach, Ryan Jenkins.
Her career highlights so far include winning three European tournaments, being crowned Welsh Champion and British Secondary Schools Champion.
Event: Singles, Team, Men’s Doubles (with brother Stephen), Mixed Doubles (with Naomi Owen)
Brother to fellow Delhi teammate, Stephen Jenkins, Ryan is both an athlete and the National Coach of Wales and has been competing for 24 years after joining a local boys club in Ystrad Rhondda.
The 31 year-old trains and coaches himself at the Sport Wales National Centre.
This won’t be his first trip to India; Ryan competed in the Commonwealth Games Championships in 2001. His career highlight so far is being crowned Welsh Champion nine times – he also won a Commonwealth gold medal in Malaysia 2004 and a Commonwealth silver in Manchester 2002.
Event: Singles, Team, Men’s Doubles (with brother Ryan), Mixed Doubles (with Angharad Phillips)
Younger brother of fellow athlete and Wales National Coach, Ryan Jenkins, 28 year-old Stephen followed in his siblings footsteps and started playing at the same club.
He has since been competing for 17 years and has won two Commonwealth Championship bronze medals in Glasgow 2009 and Malaysia 2004.
Former student at Tonypandy Comprehensive School, Stephen uses the facilities at Tonyrefail Comprehensive School to train.
From: Llandrindod Wells
Event: Singles, Team, Women’s Doubles (with Angharad Phillips), Mixed Doubles (with Ryan Jenkins)
22 year-old Naomi started playing table tennis after a family holidat to Butlins 13 years ago.
Former pupil of Llandrindod Wells High School, she now trains in Sheffield with coaches Arthur Brett and Alan Cooke; and Ryan Jenkins makes up her coaching team.
Naomi’s career highlights to date include playing in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne 2006 and being part of the British Olympic squad. She also won against the 73rd ranked player in the world, Xu Jie in Poland in 2008 and became British Champion in 2009.
Event: Singles, Team, Women’s Doubles (with Naomi Owen), Mixed Doubles (with Stephen Jenkins)
Twin sister to fellow Team Wales athlete, Megan Phillips, Angharad got involved with table tennis after receiving a table for Christmas five years ago.
Former pupil of Ysgol Brynhyfryd High School and Twm o’r Nant primary school and reached the last 16 of the singles event in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune in 2008.
Event: Singles, Team, Women’s Doubles (with Charlotte Carey)
16 year-old Megan got into table tennis in the same way as her twin sister Angharad; after their parents bought them a table for Christmas.
The twins’ sporting ambition comes as no surprise as their dad played football for Wales U19, their uncle competed for Wales in the Commonwealth Games triple jump, and their granddad competed for GB in the discus.
They both train at Denbigh Leisure Centre and are coached by Neil Powell.
Megan’s best achievement so far has been winning the the Welsh under 18 doubles championships at 13 and winning silver twice in the U15 team event at the British Championships.
Event: Singles, team, Mixed Doubles (with Charlotte Carey)
19 year-old Patrick is trained by National Coach Ryan Jenkins and has been competing for six years.
Having been to India before for the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, the Abergavenny-born player knows what to expect and will be hoping that he can come away with another personal best performance. In Pune he reached the last 16.
One of his career highlights so far has been playing for the senior team in the European and Pro tours
From: Rhoose, Vale of Glamorgan
The 20-year-old won the AEGON GB Pro Series event at Roehampton, and finished as runner-up in Chiswick:
“I’m really looking forward to playing at the Commonwealth Games,” said Josh. ”I don’t get many chances to represent Wales, and this may be my only chance to play in an event like this, so I really want to make the most of it.”
The former pupil of Stanwell School in Penarth is based at the National Tennis Centre, Roehampton is ranked in the world’s top 500.
He first picked up a racket when he was given one for his fifth birthday. Since then, he has also won a $15,000 title and has competed at Junior Wimbledon and the US Open.
Lewis, 28, is fresh from helping Wales win victory at the Home Nations Senior Championship in Cardiff at the weekend.
Chris and Josh Milton will play in the men’s singles and together in the men’s doubles. Chris will also help to coach Josh.
Lewis turned pro in 2000. Since then, he has reached the final round of qualifying for Wimbledon 2003. He was triumphant at the Wrexham Men’s ITF $15,000 event in 2003 and has also had good finishes at ITF events in Barbados and Nigeria. He is the winner of seven Senior Welsh National titles between 2000 and 2009. He was the Senior British Doubles Champion in 2002 (with Bloomfield) and the winner of France F15 Men’s ITF $15,000 doubles event in 2003 (with Delgado).
He started playing when he was eight years old – he went to an indoor centre in Swansea after watching his cousin play. He also played county cricket as a youngster and also likes to play golf and snooker. He now trains at Esporta Cardiff and is a self-employed tennis coach.
WEIGHTLIFTING AND POWERLIFTING
From: Cardiff. Lives in Ivybridge, Devon
Weight category: 63 kg
She started weightlifting during school 18 years ago. She grew up in Cornwall, before attending UWIC in Cardiff, and now teaching in Ivybridge Community College in Devon. She counts her coach Andrew Davies as one of her biggest inspirations. Her career highlight to date was winning the Commonwealth Games Championships for Wales in 2006 and representing Great Britain in the last two Olympics.
PB- Snatch = 101kg (Italy 2006)
Clean & jerk = 123kg (British Champs 2006)
Total = 221kg
Kyron has been powerlifting for five years after getting involved with the sport at Croesyceilog School in Cwmbran. He trains at Cwbran Stadium under the watchful eye of coach Gideon Griffiths. His career highlight was becoming World Champion in October 2009.
PB-70 Kg - British Wheelchair National Championships at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury in June 2009
Weight category: 62 kg
Gareth has been competing in weightlifting for 13 years since attending Ysgol Uwchradd Caergybi in Holyhead. He now splits his time between training and working as a painter and decorator. His career highlight to date was qualifying for this year’s Commonwealth Games, which is his first. His coach is Ray Williams.
135kg clean and jerk
246kg total at European champs Minsk, Belarus in April 2010
Weight category: 69kg
Natasha’s career highlight to date has been to compete at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. She has been selected to compete in the Delhi Games this October and she is gunning for a medal. She is also aiming to compete in front of a home crowd in London 2012.
Born in Swansea, she now lives in Leeds. A bin lorry driver, she is 34 and a member of the World Class Weight Lifting Club in Yorkshire. Her father, Terry, was a weightlifter and her inspiration to take up the sport. He competed at two Olympics in 1968 and 1972 and three Commonwealth Games. Her brother, also called Terry, went to three Commonwealth Games. PB-90kg Snatch
110kg Clean & Jerk
From: Ynysbwl, now lives in Pontypridd
Julie first got involved in powerlifting through Paralympian Emma Brown 10 years ago. She counts coach Jon Amos among her greatest influences. Her career highlight so far has been to compete in the Athens Paralympic Games in 2004.
PB-80kg, IPC Europeans Greece 2007
Daniel was first involved with swimming, but after attending the National Junior Games in 2000 and 2002 at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury, he was encouraged to try other sports. He attempted the bench-press and decided to concentrate on that full time. He has now been competing for more than four years.
Daniel is coached by Gideon Griffiths in Bicester and works for BT in his spare time. His career highlight to date was being part of the British Powerlifting team that attended the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS) World Games in Bangalore where he finished 7th in his weight-class. He was also British Champion in June 2008 and won a Bronze Medal in the World Junior Games in July 2008.
PB- Currently a lift of 105kg at the British Championships in June 2010.
From: Originally from Bedford, lives in Newtown
Weight category: 60kg Freestyle
The current Welsh number one, Damion has only been competing for the past 18 months. Coached by Sue and Alan Jones, the former Newtown High School student previously worked in a wool factory before turning his attention to wrestling. Damion has moved from football to freestyle wrestling and loves competing for Wales.
Weight category: 67kg Freestyle
Maesteg-born Sarah started out her sporting career as a judo player, competing for both Wales and Great Britain. Now a student at Bath University, the 21-year-old has turned her attention to wrestling. Under the guidance of Alan and Sue Jones, Sarah adapted well by winning many top tournaments and qualifying for the Commonwealth Games 2010.
A fluent Welsh speaker, Sarah often makes the trip back to Wales and DJs in her spare time.
Weight category: 55kg
Non Evans is somewhat of a phenomenon in Welsh sport. Not only has she been capped over 85 times for the Welsh National Women’s rugby team and six times for the British Lionesses, Evans will also be making history in Delhi as the first woman to compete in three different sports at the Commonwealth Games.
Somehow the 35-year-old from Llanelli also manages to fit her training for wrestling and rugby around her job as a medical rep for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.
Non first tried her hand at judo at the age of 11 and had her first call-up for Wales at just 13-years old, going on to become both a Welsh and British Champion.
Coach Alan Jones has guided Non to all of her Commonwealth tournaments and Games successes.
Non is the team captain for team Wales’ female wrestlers.
From: Originally from Bradford, lives in Wrexham
Weight category: 66kg Freestyle & Greco-Roman
Wrestling certainly runs in the Hawthorn family, with Bradford-born Brett’s father Jimmy a three-time World Champion and now coach and younger brother Tommy also a wrestler. Competing for 11 years, Brett is five-times British Junior Champion and at just 19 a bright prospect for Wales after being recently selected to wrestle for Team GB in both the European and World Championships.
Brett has recently won a scholarship to wrestle in the USA to help is bid for the Olympics in London 2012.
Brett has been made team captain by Alan and Sue to help bond Team Wales’ men’s wrestlers.
From: Originally Wolverhampton, lives in Wrexham
Weight category: 44-48kg Freestyle
Kiran was a superb junior wrestler winning many national and international honours, and will be travelling to Delhi as the youngest member of the squad.
Weight category: 50-55kg Freestyle
23-year-old Craig has been wrestling for over nine years and was named British Senior Wrestling Champion in 2006. One of the most experienced members of the squad, Bolton-born Craig fits his training in and around his day job as a retail data control manager for popular chain All Saints. Craig always finds time to travel to Wales to train with the national squad team and it’s a dream come true for him to represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games in India.
Weight categories: 63kg
23-year-old Kate lives in Cardiff and is another of the wrestling team to have made the transition from judo. Kate has worked and travelled with Alan since the age of 10 and has won many major tournaments for GB as a junior and senior. Kate is a tough competitor in the hard sport of freestyle wrestling for women.