Talented Sporting Youngsters Feature - Ioan Williams


Ioan’s doing really well in boccia

Ioan Williams - excellent boccia playerIoan Williams is 16 years of age and was a deserved recipient of recognition at the 2023 Sports Awards when he was nominated in the junior disability category and received a smashing engraved glass trophy for achieving his place as runner-up in a competitive category.
Ioan plays Boccia for the Crymych Panthers, a club which meets at the Haverfordwest Sports Village on Monday evenings under the guidance of Angela Miles, who is rightly regarded as the ‘Voice of Disability Sport’ in Pembrokeshire
He competed so well in the 2023 Welsh Championships in his BC4 category (the sport is divided into categories based on the levels of disability and on whether the competitors are able to throw the red or blue balls, or have to use a ramp from which they nudge the balls off after giving their ‘ramper’ specific instructions on the direction and pace the ball is needed to travel to get nearest the ‘jack’ (or white target ball.)
Ioan will be aiming to improve on that fine achievement when the 2024 championships are held in May - with the event being held this year at the Sports Village Complex Haverfordwest High School!

Started out in Boccia with Angela’s help – and has been involved with boxing too

He started out in the sport after his disability had been diagnosed and his mother Rhiannon contacted Angela, then the Disability Sport Officer at Pembrokeshire County Council, who invited them along to try the sport.
Ioan made a useful start but decided against playing more because there were only adults taking part at the time and he also tried boxing at Pembroke Dock Amateur Boxing Club, where he was made very welcome by Chris McEwen.
He eventually took a break but plans to go back in the near future because Chris now has  ‘virtual reality’ head sets and Ioan is eager to take part, and Chris has already said that he is looking for great help from Chris  in running this area of the club.
“I know Ioan will be a fantastic help with the ‘virtual reality’ area of our boxing and I’m confident he will have the skill and know-how to take on some of our regular fighters.”
Ioan’s mum Rhiannon is his ‘taxi driver’ and gives him every encouragement - and he is also supported by younger brother Tomas, who is  a keen young sportsman as he has also trained at Merlins Bridge Amateur Boxing Club and played rugby for Neyland and football at Hakin United.

Ioan with his boccia pal Lewis Crawford


High praise from Angela

Angela Miles told us,
“Ioan first tried Boccia as a ten-year old with Crymych Panthers but although he showed promise it clearly wasn’t the right time for him and we told him to come back whenever he wanted - which he did last year and made an immediate impact.
“He soon mastered the basic techniques and he was understandably delighted when he went to the Welsh Championships at the Newport Velodrome and came back with a deserved silver medal in the BC4 Category.
“A measure of his progress is the fact that he was selected to represent Wales in Northern Ireland but couldn’t go but he has also been invited by Disability Sport Wales to attend special squad training at a range of venues, starting at Caldecott, near Newport, Gwent, which means more travel for Rhiannon, which she willingly undertakes.

And finally . . .

“He is a very skilful player and we have great hopes for Ioan if he can continue to make the progress he has done so far.”
“One off the great things about Ioan doing so well comes from his training sessions with Lewis Crawford, where they push each other on and are already a strong pair so when the opportunities come for them to compete together, they could be a formidable duo.”
At the moment Ioan uses a set of six balls that have two medium balls, two medium soft, and two medium hard balls of either colour but his next  step will be to practice using more soft balls and hard ones - which will help improve his repertoire.
He will receive every encouragement from his family and Angela - and we at PembrokeshireSport.co.uk  wish Ioan Williams every success in the future as a very promising young boccia player and someone who is going to be a great help at Pembroke Dock Amateur Boxing Club.

Ioan receives his trophy at the Sport Pembrokeshire Awards