Dylan is doing great at athletics and rugby!

Dylan Phillips practices his kickingDylan Phillips is just 13 years of age but the youngster from Fishguard is already making a name for himself as a talented all-round athlete with Pembrokeshire Harriers, plays as a strong-running centre with Fishguard RFC junior section, played football for Fishguard Sports but had to call a halt because it clashed with other sports, and played hockey for school as a striker!

If pushed Dylan might highlight rugby as his favourite sport but there is no doubt that his athletic prowess has already earned him gold-medal success in the Welsh Combined Championships with his pal Wiliam Lloyd and caused high jump coach Liz Rowland to sing his praises, along with her husband Nigel as another experienced coach.

High praise from Liz and Nigel

"Dylan is a pleasure to have in our squad because he shows real maturity for a thirteen year old," Liz told us," before Nigel added, "He is always ready to listen to advice and aims to keep improving."

Dylan started out in athletics at Ysgol Wdig where Jonathan 'JJ' Jones is head teacher and a sportsman himself - and he spotted his young pupil's talent in school before Dylan went off to the county sports in the long jump.

Liz Rowland spotted his high jump potential when he went to a taster day at the Pembrokeshire  Harriers and roped him in with such effect that at under 13 level he remained undefeated, winning every event against all the other clubs, taking the gold medal in the West Wales Championships and the Welsh Championships with a personal best jump.

Refreshed after a break

Dylan Phillips competes for the Pembrokeshire HarriersDylan's top high jump now is an impressive 1m 60cms but he went off athletics for a while, perhaps because he was involved in so many other sports and also had lots of school work, but returned after the winter's break feeling refreshed and ready for new challenges- and was soon back in the groove as he competed against opponents who were a year older than he was, but he still celebrated success.

One of these was competing in the combined championships, a version of pentathlon where there is a team of two alongside an individual competition in the 80 metres hurdles, shot, high jump, long jump and 800 metres, arguably the toughest even for Dylan and his combined partner  Wiliam Lloyd, from Llandissilio.

Dylan won the individual silver, just behind Wiliam, and this doughty duo, who were representing Dyfed at Swansea Athletic Stadium, scooped the top spot on the podium to confirm their terrific all-round ability - although sadly there isn’t chance of a repeat until they are at under 17 level.

Great support provided

Ask Dylan about support given and he would be quick to praise parents Barbara (who played netball and tennis as a youngster in Sussex) and Jonathan (a keen rugby player, footballer and cricketer in his school days), plus big brother Giac (19) who is involved in rugby and mixed martial arts in Brighton.

"They have all been brilliant," Dylan told us, "and mum is a great taxi driver and motivator, whilst dad does the same as he comes to the Harriers with me on a regular basis.”

Before he stepped down from football because of a clash with training times, Dylan used to play for the Fishguard Sports junior section where James Wade and Gary Hall were the coaches, whilst also playing under the guidance of Daisy Picton as a holding midfielder with Pembrokeshire in his age category.

Doing well at club rugby

Dylan Phillips receives an awardOn the rugby front, Dylan plays at inside centre for Fishguard in his age group team coached by Dilwyn Williams and Steve Jones, and is hoping to gain selection for the final cut-off point for the county team after playing in the earlier trials.

With the Junior Seagulls he has just returned from a highly successful tour to France where they played three games, easily beating the host club by 70-0 to make a terrific start on day one before they played two matches in the same day to test their stamina and commitment against teams reinforced with some under 16 players.

"We won our second match by 55-5 and then took on a strengthened home team again and although we lost 5-20 our coaches thought we had played really well against such a physically strong team against us.

"We had a wonderful time because most of our families were with us and we all went to watch the European Challenge Cup Final, where Montpelier beat Harlequins

"The French were very hospitable and they made us bring home the trophy so that they could come over to Fishguard next season and try to win it back from us!"

Shining at schools’ rugby

Dylan also plays for the Ysgol Bro Gwaun team coached by Chris Shousha and was part of a successful side which reached the schools' final, beating Lampeter to receive the trophy from Josh Lewsey, the ex-England winger who was then working for the Welsh Rugby Union.

He also takes the place kicks and can regularly be seen at The Moors, practising his accuracy and also training hard on his own to maintain his fitness and develop his skills.

Powerful pentathlon performances

Going back to athletics for a moment, Dylan has been busy this summer competing for The Harriers against other strong teams from Carmarthen, Brecon, Swansea, Neath, Llanelli, Bridgend and the Vale of Glamorgan.

Then he was delighted to be called into the Dyfed team for the pairs' competition with Wiliam, and Dylan's hard work on his all-round skills paid off with a seventh place in the 80 metres hurdles, second in the long jump, third in the high jump and first place in the shot putt, which was a very pleasant surprise, before fourth place in the 800 metres, a tough event indeed after a long day of competition..

"We were so chuffed to win the gold medal and I was really pleased with my individual silver medal against older boys," admitted Dylan.

It was fitting reward for his efforts and there is no doubt that Dylan Phillips is a very talented and modest all-round young sportsman - and we wish him every success in whichever sport he eventually decides to focus upon!