Wiliam is a talented young sporting all-rounder!

Wiliam Lloyd Wiliam Lloyd hails from Llandissilio and at 14 years of age is a very able athlete, gymnast and rugby player who can be proud of the fact that he is already a Welsh champion in the first two sports and is in line to represent the county in rugby during the forthcoming season.
Wiliam recently joined Pembrokeshire Harriers' team mate Dylan Phillips in winning the Welsh Combined events at Swansea University International Athletics Track and made it a golden double as he also won the individual gold as reward for his efforts in five events, but more of that later.

Sports galore at a high level

His gymnastic discipline is in tumbling where videos of his complex routine would take your breath away as he won the Welsh Championships for his age group and also came a creditable third place at the British Schools’ event in Stoke on Trent.
Then there's rugby as a third sporting discipline where he plays regularly on the wing or, if needed, in the centre for a useful Ysgol y Preseli under 15s team coached by Mr Gethin Vobe and Mr Marc Lloyd.
He also plays for Crymych RFC in a team coached by his dad Huw, who played rugby for Haverfordwest and Llangwm in his younger days – and Wiliam is looking to gain a regular place in the county team after taking part in a few squad sessions where the size of the squad has been gradually reduced.

Early start to athletics

Back on the athletics front, Wiliam started out in year seven at Ysgol y Preseli when his class tried high jump and he thoroughly enjoyed it from the outset.

"I took to the Fosbury Flop straight away and managed 1.25 metres when I started out - and now have a personal best of 1.70 metres and hope to improve on that soon.
"Then I went to an open day with Pembrokeshire Harriers and was made welcome straight away by Liz Rowland, who coaches high jump, and her husband Nigel, who nagged me to try hurdling, which I did and still enjoy."

Real success at Welsh Schools’ Championships

Wiliam's mum Bethan is a coach with the club now and his younger sister Lleucu (10) is also a very good all-rounder in sport - and Wiliam showed what an aspiring talent he is at the recent Welsh Schools’ championships at the Leckwith Stadium in Cardiff.

He gained a silver medal in the high jump and came in a creditable third place in 80 metres hurdles to gain the bronze medal in a time of 12.6 seconds, which is 0.4 of a second away from his personal best time but there was a tricky wind to account for that.
Wiliam won that double gold in the Welsh Combined Events for his age group, the pentathlon of athletics for youngsters where they compete in the 80m hurdles, shot, high jump, long jump and 800 metres.

"I was chosen by Hedydd Davies with my team mate Dylan Phillips to represent Dyfed in the competition in Swansea and I was really pleased when I started out with a first place in the hurdles - but could only manage seventh place in the shot.
"But then I came joint first in the high jump and moved to the top of the table with an amazing long jump of 5.24 metres when my previous best was 4.75 metres. First place there meant I had to hold on in the 800 metres, which I managed to do to win the gold medal.
"I was really thrilled and there was more good news because Dylan did really well to take the silver medal in the individual and we won the team gold as a bonus!"
He had also won the Welsh indoor title in the event at the British finals in Sheffield, where he came a creditable sixth overall against the top young athletes from across the UK as reward for all his hard work in training, where he gives 100% and always tries to finish off with a demanding 400 or 800 metres run, which really takes him out of his comfort zone!

A similar success story in gymnastics

It is a similar story in gymnastics, where Wiliam attends the Haverfordwest club twice or three times a week and builds on his skill levels with some rigorous training that sometimes includes him having to shrug off an error when he has mistimed a flick-flack or whip and lands badly - but gets straight back up on the mat again as part of the process.
"I started out when I was about six or seven," Wiliam told us, "when my dad thought I might enjoy it and took me there to give it a try. Over the years I have developed my routine to include an Arab spring, five whips (flick flacks without putting his hands on the floor) and I'm working on rounding things off with a double back somersault!"
Wiliam won the Welsh Schools' Championships in Cardiff and performed really well in the British Finals at Stoke on Trent, where he came third.
"I've also won the Welsh National Development Plan three times but I've not been to the British equivalent - yet!"

Family matters and grateful thanks. . .

Ask Wiliam for those who have helped him develop his sporting interests and he would unhesitatingly nominate his parents, Bethan and Huw as 'great supporters and taxi drivers', alongside Liz and Nigel Rowland, plus all the other coaches at the Pembrokeshire Harriers, plus administrators Jo Salmon and Louisa Zygadlo and all the coaches at Haverfordwest Gymnastics Club.
Liz Rowland returned the compliment by telling us,
“Wiliam has shown terrific commitment to his athletics and we were all delighted at Pembrokeshire Harriers at his recent successes and the deserved reward of a double gold medal.

“Younger athletes will look up to him and realise what can be achieved with such hard work, which is a great help to us in promoting our sport – because he is a credit to his family, club and county!”
"I've been very lucky with the Harriers; at the gymnastics club and in my rugby," Wiliam told us, "and I would like to thank everyone involved for their help."
It is really nice to see a talented teenager like Wiliam Lloyd doing so well - but also recognising the help he has received along the way is very refreshing indeed, and we wish this talented and modest young man well in his future sporting activities!