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Western mail 06 02-2014-wattstown rugby

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Western mail 06 02-2014-wattstown rugby

  1. 1. 22  THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014 WESTERN MAIL NEWS NEWS IN BRIEF Prison probes death of inmate AN inquest will be opened today for a Somali immigrant who died at HMP Parc in Bridgend. Prison chiefs have launched an investigation into the death of Mohamoud Ali, 36, who was allegedly being detained on immigration charges when he died on Saturday. The Ministry of Justice are investigating and an inquest will be opened today in Aberdare. A Prison Service spokesperson said: “Mohamoud Ali was found unresponsive in his cell by prison staff at approximately 7am on Saturday. “Prison staff attempted CPR and paramedics attended but he was pronounced dead at 7.49am. “As with all deaths in custody, the Independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation.” A spokeswoman for G4S, who runs the private prison, said they were unable to the comment on the death while an investigation was ongoing. Grave found under carpet A MEDIEVAL tombstone has been unearthed in a small Welsh church – discovered hidden under the carpet. The rare stone was found at St David’s Church in Laleston, Bridgend, while research was being carried out to set up an historical interactive walking trail. The stone set in the floor at St David’s is believed to date to the late 14th to early 15th century. It’s one of three triple cross slabs in the area which may be linked. It will now form one of the focal points of interest on the Laleston Stone Trail. Murder jury considers verdict The jury in the trial of a man who denies murdering his girlfriend at her Tenby flat will resume its deliberations today. Steven Williams, 30, of Newell Hill, Tenby, is alleged to have repeatedly stabbed 35-year-old Joanna Hall at her home last March following an argument. Williams, a former chef, claims an unknown intruder entered the flat early on March 16 last year while he was out at a shop and when he returned he found her with devastating injuries. Miss Hall died from her injuries 19 days later in hospital. The jury retired to consider a verdict just after midday yesterday at Swansea Crown Court. Follow us on Twitter: @WalesOnline ‘It’s so rewarding watching sport empower people...’ >> Mark Hutton shares a joke with the Wattstown under-18 girls rugby team after a training session I F someone had told a 14-year-old Mark Hutton that rugby would change his life, he would never have believed it. He was one of the boys in school who would forge his parents’ signature to get out of doing PE, he never exercised and, combined with a weight problem which meant he had ballooned to 18st, would never have contemplated running on a rugby field, let alone helping to establish a youth rugby club that is positively thriving. His vision to get young people from one of the country’s most deprived areas to play sports means Wattstown Young People Rugby now offers coaching and competitive opportunities for boys and girls to play, while encouraging fun, enjoyment and developing skills in rugby union. Thanks to a grant from Comic Relief, Mark has been able to encourage 28 young men, aged 16-19, who commit to training twice per week as well as 36 young girls, aged 13-16, to actively take part in sport. Project co-ordinator for The People and Work Unit, 40-year-old Mark is re-energising the area, where three times as many people are on benefits as the national average and only a quarter of pupils at the local secondary school get the national standard of five GCSEs at A* to C grades. “Having spent most of my teenage years shying away from any type of physical activity, it’s hard to believe I now make a living from sport, but it’s so rewarding watching people empowered by sport, as that’s what happened to me,” he says. “I had weight control issues which meant I always avoided any type of sport. “My parents owned a grocery story so I was surrounded by cakes, pastries and pies and, by the time I was Mark Hutton never contemplated doing any exercise as an overweight teenager until he discovered rugby. He tells Rachel Mainwaring how his life has turned full circle and how he’s helping one of Wales’ most deprived areas come together as a community for everybody’s benefit... 14 years old, I was 18st and wore 42in trousers. “I was bullied, I was depressed and did very little physical activity at all until a friend of mine invited me to a rugby training session. I took part and found I really enjoyed it. I got more and more into it and found the weight just started dropping off me and I felt much better about myself. “I look back and think that my life has gone full circle. The People and Work Unit has used cash raised through Sport Relief to offer rugby to young people after school hours. To see these youngsters transforming their confidence is amazing. “Wattstown rugby is a great example of how young people are discovering sport. There has not been a youth team at Wattstown RFC for some 12 years, so this is a massive and welcomed activity to the community of both Ynyshir and Wattstown. “There are 28 young people who come two or three times a week and they all show incredible commitment – the impact of rugby in this area has been incredible. It has brought the community together, with people volunteering to help on the gate – we even had a crowd of 250 people watching a match.” Mark, who also works a personal trainer, said he has seen people empowered by the sport in just a short space of time, while some have gone on to gain employment after gaining vital confidence from participating in the training sessions. “In my day no-one really knew how to deal with issues like obesity,” he said. “I never did PE and when I go to schools now I can see there are those who have forged their parents’ signatures so they don’t have to take part. But when I started playing rugby I saw all sorts of results immediately. “The first was team-building and boosting my confidence and then the weight fell off. It was all positive and made a huge difference and it’s how to get involved Sport Relief is looking for your community group in Wales to apply for grants and it couldn’t be easier. All you need to do to register is go to www.cfiw.org.uk and complete your application Fundraisers are also being asked to swim, run or cycle at an organised event and all the money raise through Sport Relief will be distributed through Comic Relief, helping transform lives in Wales, across the UK and the world’s poorest countries ■■ Sign up at sportrelief.com great to see the youngsters gaining the same benefits that I did.” The project has helped re-energise the area through sport and volunteering and through the use of Time Bank – people exchange volunteering hours for free sports classes or free entry to swimming pools and thereby makes more use of sports facilities that are not being used. The Western Mail has teamed up with Sport Relief to offer £100,000 of cash to community groups like The People and Work Unit across Wales. The grants of between £500 and £1,000 are available to small organisations which are doing great work to help local people living tough lives. The guaranteed £100,000 pot will come from Sainsbury’s Sports Relief Games being held across Britain over the weekend of March 21-23. Hundreds of celebrities, including Alex Jones and Colin Jackson, will be taking part in the giant fundraiser which will pour money back into community projects. Mark added: “In 18 months, Wattstown Young People Rugby has gone from strength to strength and there is so much interest. We realised the girls should benefit too and we have 38 who have registered with the WRU, and two who recently played for Cardiff Blues against Ospreys. “I can’t quite believe I’ve gone from not participating to delivering this for young people. It’s extremely rewarding.”

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