Thursday, 27 August 2009

Hywelis to make waves against Britain's best

A Swansea swimmer will be taking the plunge against Britain's best in the UK School Games next week.

Hywelis Thomas-Howells, a 14-year-old pupil at Ysgol Gymraeg Bryn Tawe, is competing in the freestyle at the Wales National Pool.

The teenager is a member of Swim Swansea, Swansea Harriers and the City of Swansea Rowing Club. She's also a Welsh triathlon and track champion for her age group.

Swansea is co-hosting the UK School Games 2009 alongside Cardiff and Newport from Thursday September 3 to Sunday September 6.

The event is being held every year in the build-up to London 2012 and will allow people to watch some of Britain's finest young athletes in action.

The Wales National Pool Swansea will host the swimming competitions and Sports Village on Sketty Lane will hold the judo.

Hywelis is keen to compete in her home city.

She said: "It's great that Wales is hosting the UK School Games this year and it's even better that I'll be able to compete in Swansea.

"It's my home city and it will give many people a taste of what's available here for the first time. I'm sure visitors will be impressed by our top class sports facilities and the stunning coastal scenery.

"It's an exciting time for sport in the UK as we count down towards London 2012 and you can't help but to be inspired by the achievements of athletes such as Rebecca Adlington and Jessica Ennis over the last year or so.

"I'm very excited to be helping fly the flag for Wales."

Hundreds of athletes and their families are expected to arrive in Swansea to take part in the UK School Games 2009 and watch the action.

The event will replicate a major multi-sport event with an opening and closing ceremony as well as an athlete's village.

Track cycling, hockey, badminton, volleyball, athletics, fencing, gymnastics and table tennis are among the other sports included.

Cllr Graham Thomas, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Recreation and Tourism, said: "Swansea's reputation as a city capable of hosting top class sport is going from strength to strength.

"Facilities such as the Wales National Pool and the Liberty Stadium complement our range of Active Swansea community leisure centres to ensure sport and fitness opportunities are available to all.

"We have a proud sporting history here in Swansea but attracting events of this calibre shows we're determined to build on the solid foundations that have already been laid."

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