National Lottery campaign sees sports arenas renamed for day

Image source, National Lottery/Anthony Devlin
Image caption,
Ken Newing has been involved with the Port Dinorwic Sailing Club for over 40 years

Two sporting facilities in Wales have been renamed for the day in honour of local unsung heroes.

The Geraint Thomas Velodrome in Newport was named the Chris Davies Velodrome on Tuesday after a Lliswerry running club coach and chairman.

In Gwynedd, the Plas Menai National Outdoor Centre was named Ken Newing's Plas Menai in honour of a stalwart of nearby Port Dinorwic Sailing Club.

Mr Newing said he was "shaken and stirred" when he found out.

He has been involved with the Port Dinorwic Sailing Club for over 40 years and is said to have had a "huge impact" on sailing in the area.

During the pandemic, Mr Newing attended more than 30 sessions hosted by governing body RYA Cymru in order to advise the club on all the latest Covid-19 safety guidance.

Despite shielding, he also organised a number of online activities to bring members of the club together during lockdown.

Although shocked at finding out Plas Menai would bear his name, he told BBC Radio Wales receiving the honour was "very pleasant".

Image source, National Lottery
Image caption,
Hannah Mills says people like Ken Newing dedicating their lives to their sport was "admirable" and "amazing"

Olympic and world champion Hannah Mills, who spent much of her time training at Plas Menai since the age of nine, said it was "really inspiring" to see.

"People like Ken just dedicate their lives to that and I think it's such an admirable, amazing thing to have done," she added.

"Ken's been there for over 40 years - he's had a huge impact on the sailing club Port Dinorwic where he's from, which is just down the road from the Wales National Outdoor Centre."

Image source, National Lottery/Geoff Caddick
Image caption,
Chris Davies is a "leading force" for the sport of running in Newport

Chris Davies is said to be a "leading force" for the sport of running in Newport, and is lead ambassador for Parkrun in Wales.

He has helped keep members active and maintain a sense of community during the pandemic.

Other venues renamed in the National Lottery-funded campaign include Twickenham, The Kia Oval, Paula Radcliffe Athletics Track and Pinsent Redgrave Rowing Lake.

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