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Wales top boxer Fred Evans is out of games

Olympic silver medallist Fred Evans has been forced out of the Commonwealth Games after having his accreditation refused.

The Welsh welterweight did not travel with his team-mates to Glasgow on Tuesday after being informed he had been denied the chance to compete based on checks completed by the Home Office and Commonwealth Games officials.

Fred Evans
Fred Evans of Cardiff won silver at the London Olympics. Credit: PA

In April Evans admitted his part in a nightclub assault in Birmingham, for which he was ordered to pay a total of £1,085 in fines and costs but it was not immediately clear if this was the reason for the accreditation refusal.

We have engaged in rigorous and thorough communications with all relevant bodies over the last few weeks, including putting forward two mitigation plans, unfortunately all of which have been unsuccessful.

The key Welsh and British sporting agencies have been supportive in our attempts to get Fred to the Games and we are bitterly disappointed at the outcome.

Fred is a world class boxer and has handled this difficult situation in a very disciplined manner, continuing to work hard in the hope of a satisfactory resolution.

We thank him for his professionalism and wish him all the best for his future ambitions.

– Brian Davies, Team Wales Chef de Mission

Wales' athletes share skills ahead of games opening

Wales have taken their biggest ever team to a Commonwealth Games with 231 athletes travelling to Glasgow.

Before they left for Wednesday's opening ceremony some of the teams trained together to swap skills and disciplines.

Dean Thomas was there when the women's netball squad teamed up with the rugby 7s.

Today Frankie Jones was named as the flag bearer for the Welsh team.

The gymnast will carry the Wales flag during the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Frankie Jones
Gymnast Frankie Jones is to carry the Wales flag at the opening ceremony. Credit: PA

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Frankie carries the flag for Wales at games

Gymnast Francesca 'Frankie' Jones will carry the Wales flag during the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The 23 year old has been chosen out of over 230 Welsh athletes competing at the games and will lead them into Celtic Park for the opening parade on Wednesday evening.

Frankie Jones
Gymnast Frankie Jones already has a silver medal. Credit: PA

Glasgow will be Jones' third Commonwealth games after competing in Melbourne 2006 and Delhi 2010, the later of which saw her finish 4th overall and take silver in the hoop discipline.

Jones has become one of Wales' most successful ever rhythmic gymnasts and competed for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics.

There is no doubt the whole sport in Wales has grown off the back of her personal success and without her we would not have had such a thriving gymnastics team here in Glasgow.

– Brian Davies, Team Wales Chef de Mission

What resources are available for cyclists in Wales?

by Rosie Mercer
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Various resources are available throughout Wales to help develop more confident and experienced cyclists

While the Welsh Government focuses on increasing the number of cyclists in Wales through its new Active Travel Act, our local authorities are tasked with the challenge of making cycling more accessible.

Below is a list of the resources which are available in Wales, to help us to gain the confidence and skills we might need to get on our bikes.

Please contact your local authority offices if you would like more information about the support which is available to cyclists in your area.

Road safety training A number of local authorities in Wales, including Cardiff Council and Powys Council, offer free road safety classes for adults. If you’re based in Caerphilly, The Caerphilly Travel Hub offers free cycle training for adults and children on Wednesday afternoons.

If you work in either Pontypridd, Cardiff or Caerphilly, you may also be entitled to free cycle training as part of the Smarter Journeys to Work Project

www.sustrans.org.uk/wales/what-we-do/workplaces

And if you don’t qualify for free cycle training, then CTC and Cycle Training Wales both offer some great value cycle training packages.

www.ctc.org.uk www.cycletrainingwales.org.uk

Route Planning Google Maps offer clear and up to date route planning for cyclists. Simply enter the location that you wish to travel to, choose ‘Cycling’ as your mode of transport, and Google Maps will demonstrate a variety of cycle routes along with an estimated journey time. It can also highlight cycle trails, cycle-friendly roads and the types of terrain that you might encounter.

Visit Wales have also compiled a list of the most picturesque cycle routes in Wales, including the Mawddach trail in Snowdonia and the Elan Valley Trail in Mid Wales.

www.visitwales.com/holidays-breaks/family-holidays/bike-riding-routes

Cycle to Work Scheme A growing number of employers across Wales are signed up to Cycle Scheme, a scheme that allows employees to obtain a free bicycle in order to cycle to work. To find out if your employer is signed up to this scheme, you should speak with your manager or HR department. If your employer is not signed up to the scheme but you’d like to invite them to join, you can find out how by visiting the Cycle Scheme website.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Bike MOT

Got a bike in the garage that’s gathering dust? Sustrans Cymru recommend you pay a visit to your local bike shop, who will offer services to get your bike back into shape for very reasonable prices. And if you work in Pontypridd, Caerphilly or Cardiff, you might also be entitled to free bike maintenance sessions as part of the Smarter Journeys to Work project.

www.sustrans.org.uk/wales/what-we-do/workplaces

Cycling Clubs

If you fancy a bit of company, The British Cycling Organisation has compiled a database of different cycling clubs across the UK. Simply select ‘Wales’ or enter your postcode and you can choose from a variety of cycling clubs across the country.

www.britishcycling.org.uk/clubfinder

For the Kids

Cycling proficiency classes are increasingly offered free of charge in schools. However, there are also a number of classes, activities and resources accessible for kids across Wales.

Beicio Cymru have outlined a few, including kids classes in Aberaeron and Carmarthenshire.

www.britishcycling.org.uk/wales/article/wcst-Welsh-Cycling-kids-activities

Sustrans have also produced a detailed webpage dedicated to children’s cycling, including information on where to cycle, how to stay safe and the different types of bike seats available.

www.sustrans.org.uk/change-your-travel/children-and-families/cycling-kids

Bike Security

North Wales police offer free bike marking at a variety of events, and launched their ‘Bicycle Watch’ scheme in 2012 which they encourage cyclists to join for free by visiting www.north-wales.police.uk.

South Wales police also offer free bike marking at a variety of events, which they announce via their Facebook page

www.facebook.com/SWPolice

They have also compiled a detailed webpage on how to keep your bike safe, available at

www.south-wales.police.uk/more-about-us/protect-bike/

For updates on road safety initiatives in Wales, check out:

www.roadsafetywales.co.uk

Wales leads the way with new Active Travel Act

by Alun Jones

Later this year the Welsh Government will implement a pioneering act which will place a requirement on local authorities to create and maintain so called Active Travel routes, for walking and cycling.

The aim of the act is simple - to increase the number of cyclists in Wales from a modest 2% of adults to a much fitter 10% by the year 2020. But many have been left questioning if our roads are ready for such an increase.

With increasing concern over issues of congestion, and ill health caused by some of the highest inactivity levels in Europe, many believe that the active travel act could offer multiple benefits. But with a total of one hundred deaths or serious injuries caused to cyclists in Wales last year, it is not without its risk.

Dr Rhodri Martin, from the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in South Wales, specialises in the benefits of exercise to our everyday health

"As a nation we are already suffering from a huge amount of chronic disease as a result of our inactivity levels. But by making it easy for people to cycle to work, by making people feel safe when they are cycling, little steps like that will help drive forward our physical activity levels"

– Dr Rhodri Martin, Medical Exercise Registrar

It is Dr Martin’s belief that the introduction of the active travel act could solve our inactivity problems and help to promote a fitter, more active nation, which could potentially lead to huge benefits to our health system.

Tonight, Andrea Byrne takes to two wheels to find out more about the Active travel Act, and to ask how safe our roads really are.

Wales This Week, Cycling’s New Roots is on Tonight at 8 on ITV Cymru Wales

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To Napoli on loan for Swansea's Michu

Swansea have announced that Michu has joined Napoli on a season-long loan deal with the Italian club holding an option to make the transfer permanent.

Miguel Michu
Swansea City's Miguel Michu will be on loan to Napoli Credit: PA

The 28-year-old, who arrived at the Liberty Stadium in July 2012 from Rayo Vallecano, completed a medical with Rafael Benitez's side on Thursday morning.

Miguel Michu
The loan to Napoli was announced on Thursday. Credit: Napoli

Michu scored 22 goals in all competitions during his first season at Swansea but struggled to recapture that impressive form last term as injuries took their toll.

Welsh athlete chosen for Glasgow whilst taking GCSEs

Hannah Brier
Hannah found out that she had been chosen for Team Wales during her GCSEs. Credit: PA

Wales' youngest athlete at the Commonwealth Games, sprinter Hannah Brier, has been juggling preparing for Glasgow with taking her GCSE exams.

Hannah will be running in the 4x100m at the event later this month. She says she learned of her selection for Team Wales on the morning of her history exam and told ITV news that her whole school have been supportive.

Law graduate Alun Wyn Jones to get honorary degree

Wales rugby star Alun Wyn Jones will receive an honorary degree from Swansea University today.

He was born in Swansea and graduated from the university in July 2010, after completing his law degree part-time while playing rugby at the top level.

Alun Wyn Jones
Alun Wyn Jones captained the Lions to victory in their third Test against Australia last year. Credit: PA

The 29 year old second row is now being recognised for his outstanding achievements as a rugby player with the Ospreys, Wales and the British and Irish Lions.

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