10:02am Sunday 29th September 2013
A MAJOR weightlifting investment designed to produce the next generation of elite talent has had the seal of approval from an Olympian.
Pembrokeshire's new SAW Cymru has been billed as a high performance Olympic weightlifting and strength and conditioning centre specifically created to help people to reach their sporting potential.
Sport Wales has funded the Sir Thomas Picton Leisure Centre facility its maximum development grant of £50,000.
And SAW Cymru becomes the latest in a number of weightlifting investments to establish a network of weightlifting performance centres in Wales.
And as the centre builds its reputation for top level athlete support, as well as offering newcomers to the sport a chance to make their first lifts, Olympian Natasha Perdue is one of the latest to try out the venue.
Purdue, who competed as part of a five strong Team GB in London, said: "I was very impressed. It is important that we have quality facilities and support for people when they walk into a centre like this.
"Lifters who want to develop and compete at a high level need to have good equipment and an environment that can help them become the best they can be.
"And people who are looking to try weightlifting for the first time and learn about the sport need to see high standards so they are encouraged to come back.
"Hopefully well see more and more lifters from west Wales competing in big competitions and putting themselves in contention for events like Commonwealth Games in the future."
Project lead at SAW Cymru and Chairperson of Pembrokeshire Weightlifting and a former Commonwealth Games head coach - Simon Roach said: "The SAW project is already providing fantastic opportunities for all types of people living in Pembrokeshire. It is an excellent training centre for sports people who wish to improve their physical performance, to help them cope with the physicality of modern sport and to help local sports people reach the next level in their sporting pathway. Team sports such as rugby, hockey, football, netball, basketball, athletics, cycling and swimming will particularly benefit.
"This is an exciting time for Pembrokeshire sports people. SAW is providing an outstanding coaching service and combined with its excellent equipment is on par with some of the top training centres in the UK.
"Those already signed up to use the centre for conditioning sessions include Scarlets rugby squads."
Sport Wales senior officer Jonathan Roberts said: "Sport Wales has set out a Vision for Sport in Wales with two specific key aspirations of getting every child hooked on sport and creating a nation of champions. Underneath that are targeted strategies for elite success, investment in community sport and increasing the sporting workforce. It is believed that the new Olympic Weightlifting centre being developed in Haverfordwest will be instrumental providing a weightlifting pathway for all in Pembrokeshire and will impact on these key strategies.
"Pembrokeshire has always had a rich history in Olympic lifting, with many past champions. It is hoped that the recent investment will support the next generation of champions."
As well as funding from Sport Wales, Pembrokeshire Weightlifting has received substantial support from Pembrokeshire. The project has been developed and made successful with the assistance from the WRU, Scarlets, Dragon LNG, Haverfordwest Pool Foundation Trust, Port of Milford Haven, Weightlifting Wales, Haverfordwest Town and Sport Pembrokeshire.
For more information visit www.strengthacademywales.com
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Pembrokeshire Weightlifting has received a substantial amount of funding from Sport Wales and has received a vast amount of collaboration with Pembrokeshire Leisure.
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