The Jenkins’ family – an amazing involvement in a range of sports!

The Jenkins familyIt is hard to believe that there can be a family whose children are more involved in sport than the Jenkins' Clan  from Begelly because of the nine children brought up Sarah and Richard on the family farm, most of them are kept very busy in athletics (at Pembrokeshire Harriers) or football (at Newcastle Emlyn), or both.
Throw in the fact that 15 year old Nieve has already represented Wales on two occasions in football and Thea (16) has two Welsh athletics' vests, and it is easy to see that there is a quality about their involvement - especially since twins Flavia and Eloise (14) have both played sport at regional level whilst Ophelia (the youngest at 8) is in the West Wales Football Academy, amongst other things.
Sons Symeon (13) and Troy (11) enjoy their involvement at the recently-formed 177 Target Shooting Club in Begelly Village Hall, with the latter also doing well at the Harriers in a range of disciplines - and both Thea and Elliott (18) are heavily involved in St John's Ambulance, which is held locally on Monday evenings.
That leaves just oldest daughter Emily, who used to play hockey at Greenhill School but now lives away in Nottingham.

Football mad daughters . . .

On the football front, the four girls started out with Angie Nicholls at Tenby, with Thea playing at right back for Newcastle Emlyn under 16 girls under the coaching of Dylan Jones and now having to turn to ladies' senior football.
Last season she helped her team come runners-up in the West Wales League and joined Nieve (winger) in a good side which reached the Welsh Cup Final for their age group before losing out to Rhydyfelin (near Pontypridd) by 5-2 at Stebonheath Park.
"We were leading 2-1 at half time," said Thea, “with Nieve scoring a penalty, but we ran out of steam in the second half. We were disappointed but I suppose we did well to reach the final."

. . . And Nieve is a Welsh international! 

Award-winning TheaThea also played for the West Wales Academy alongside Nieve, who played for Swansea in her age group and after attending trials found herself selected for the Welsh age-group team that played against Northern Ireland and Scotland at Dragon Park, Newport.
"It was a brilliant time for me," admitted Nieve, "and pulling on the Welsh jersey and singing the Welsh National anthem is something I'll never forget.
"We weren't allowed to keep our shirts, which was disappointing, but they let us keep our joggers, polo and sweat shirts with the Welsh badge on them.
"We also went to a special presentation evening where we were given our caps by Welsh senior manager Jane Ludlow, and it was great that mum and dad were also at Celtic Manor with me - and I keep my cap in a special trophy cabinet at home."

Playing well for Newcastle Emlyn

Nieve and Thea also played for a mixed team of Newcastle Emlyn Ladies and Juniors this month in a friendly against Dafen and Nieve started her new campaign with something of a bang as she scored 2 goals in a 13-0 victory.
Still on the football front, twins Flavia and Eloise are also catching the eye as they are likely to play for Newcastle Emlyn alongside Nieve this new season as winger and striker respectively, as well as in the regional squad.
Like their bigger sisters they started out in five a side football in Pembrokeshire, went on to Carmarthen Stars before joining Emlyn and thoroughly enjoying themselves.
Then there's Ophelia as the fifth sister who loves football and after playing for the under 8s will be in the under 10s and the West Wales Academy for this campaign after previously playing for St Florence.

Thea stars in Athletics, with two Welsh vests already!

On the athletic front there is no doubt that Thea is something of a star because she has already been awarded her vest after representing Wales in the high jump at the Celtic Cup against Scotland and Ireland - and in the Bob Docherty Tournament against England, Scotland and Ireland, both in Dublin.
Her personal best is 1 metre 63 centimetres and it is fair to say that all at Pembrokeshire Harriers are immensely proud of her exploits.

Superb sisterly performances

Nieve is already competing for the Harriers in the Youth Development League with her javelin expertise under the careful eye of Huw Morgan, competing for our region in the inter-regional finals at the stadium in Newport.
Flavia competes in the unusual mix of hurdles, long jump and shot putt, whilst Eloise takes part in high jump and long jump, with both twins doing well in the recent Gerald Codd Memorial Trophy against all the other South Wales teams.
Eloise finished first in the high jump and second in the long jump, whilst Flavia won the shot putt, came second in her group for the long jump and was fourth in the hurdles- and recently competed in a pentathlon event in Swansea where the events on offer were the hurdles, shot, long jump, high jump and 800 metres.

Younger members also looking good

Troy is even more versatile because his events include javelin, high jump and either 100 or 200 metres and in the Gerald Codd Memorial meeting he had respective positions of third, second and fourth.
And that brings us again nicely to Ophelia, who at eight years is likely to be a very good middle-distance runner after excelling in her inaugural cross country races, initially in the Pembrokeshire Race at Oakwood and then in the Dyfed Championships in Carmarthen, winning both to set out her stall for the future.
Unfortunately, there were no Welsh Championships for her age group but hopefully she will be able to test her skills against the best in Wales next school year.

Other sports – and an amazingly busy schedule for mum and dad

In other sports, Troy and Symeon are enjoying themselves at the 177 Club started up by Neil and Phil Jackson; with both catching the eye already and in contention for a competition in Austria, with pistols fired over 10 metres. Troy also likes shooting rifles and both have taken to this new sport like ducks to water!
The family timetable takes some appreciation because it is as follows:
Monday: St John's Ambulance
Tuesday: Pembrokeshire Harriers
Wednesday: Football in Newcastle Emlyn
Thursday: Harriers again
Friday: Football in Swansea
Saturday: Athletics meetings
Sunday: Football matches

And finally . . .

And FlaviaTo round things off, Nieve has played at outside half for Ysgol Dyffryn Taf's girls' team and took the penalties and conversions, and also undertook the refereeing course with the Manderwood Pembrokeshire Football League.
It took place over eight weekly sessions under the expertise of Brian Hawkins and since dad Richard used to take her on Sunday evenings he was persuaded to try his luck, rather than sit around.
Ask him about the results and he'll produce a huge smile before admitting
"She passed easily - but I failed!"
It all adds up to a family which believes in participation and sport provides the outlet that Sarah and Richard fully support.
There is no doubt that they don't see what they do as extraordinary but we certainly do  and are delighted to sing the praises of the remarkable Jenkins' family from the Begelly area - and long may they continue enjoying their sporting involvement in all they do!

The Jenkins' family
Award-winning Thea . . .
. . . And Flavia