As some of the top names of sport celebrated at this year's Wales Sport Awards 2018 - we found out what being part of a club means to them.
2017 BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year winner and Welsh Rugby Union player Jonathan Davies plays week in week out with his Scarlets teammates and has shared a number of highs and lows over his career. Davies has been and continues to be a valuable member of several rugby squads who have rather successful over the past few years. He says: “After a match you can enjoy yourself with friends, and you can’t beat that team environment after a good win.”
Have you felt that rush with your team at your club? Or fancy giving it a go? Contact your chosen sport’s National Governing Body to find your local club. Go for it!
Double Olympic Silver medallist Jazz Carlin may be an individual athlete as she aims for medals in the pool, but she still feels the benefit of being around team mates during those tough training sessions.
“When you’re training day in, day out and you have your friends around pushing you to do better things and pushing you harder, I think it’s so special. You make friends for life when you’ve got a team and you’ve got the people around you that support you along the way. It truly is so special.”
Gleason Fournier & Josh Batch
Fresh from collecting their award for Team of the Year at the Wales Sport Awards 2018 for the second year running, Cardiff Devils Ice-Hockey players Gleason Fournier and Josh Batch shared what it meant to them to play as a team:
“If you’re an individual athlete I’m sure it’s good to win, but when you win with a team it’s like winning with a group of brothers.”
British bobsleigher and sprinter Mica Moore has ample experience of competing in a team. She was part of the Welsh relay team in the 4x100m at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and more recently in the 2-women bobsleigh team at the Winter Olympics with her pilot Mica McNeill. They finished 8th, the best ever by a British women's Olympic bobsleigh team.
“Being part of a team makes me feel more comfortable when I’m competing. I know I can share experiences with Mica, and at the end of the race we can share how much fun we’ve had.”
A former cricket player for Glamorgan Cricket Club and now interim Head Coach of said team, Maynard explains how a shared common goal for a sports team is very powerful, and creates a dynamic like no other: “When you’re on the pitch you’re all working together collectively towards one goal, and that’s to help your team to work really hard together.”
Having recently returned from the Commonwealth Games earlier this year, Welsh netballer Nia Jones is looking forward to the upcoming Superleague season playing for the Celtic Dragons.
Nia loves being involved in team sport, and believes that is what drives her to be the athlete she is today:
“In those hard training nights or early mornings…putting themselves through the session as hard as they can. Putting themselves in the same situation as you are and just grinding each other through it: It’s fantastic. I don’t think I could do it on my own.”
International Netball player Clare Jones also competed for Team Wales on the Gold Coast back in March, and enjoys switching off after work to play on court with her teammates.
“The camaraderie and the common goals that we all strive to achieve is really special. For me personally, knowing that I can do my day to day work, and then put that behind me and go to a group of girls that really enjoy a sport I love.”
Check out Clare’s thoughts on how being part of a sports club has benefitted her mental health and wellbeing.
Former Welsh Rugby Captain Ryan Jones may now be retired, but he still recalls the great memories he has of being part of a team from his first club, up to playing for the National side.
“Whether I’m sat in the changing rooms of my local rugby club or sitting in the changing rooms of the Principality stadium, there was something unique about having a shared goal, a shared ambition and relying on others around you. Essentially if you’re in a team, you’re part of one big family.”