2021 Sport Pembrokeshire Awards - Part 5

PembrokeshireSport.co.uk is very pleased to be able to continue to highlight the magnificent achievements of our talented sporting people who were honoured at the 2021 Sport Pembrokeshire Awards evening at Folly Farm Theatre.
Today we continue with the ‘Male Achievement and ‘Female Achievement’  awards, both of which show the amazing talents that exist in our sporting fraternity.
As in all our articles in this special feature we again we would like to thank Drew Buckley Photography for generous use of his terrific photographs.
The descriptions have been edited from the ones seen by the voting panel – but still reflect

Male Achievement - Joe Phillips, Adrian Varney

Stephen Varney is from the village of Rhoshill in north Pembrokeshire. He attended Eglwyswrw Primary School and Ysgol Y Preseli Secondary School.
After finishing school at 16 he attended Hartpury College and was part of the Gloucester Academy. He then went on to play for Gloucester Rugby, Italy U18 & U20 before making his full debut for Italy, qualifying through his Italian grandparents.
Stephen has had a remarkable 12 months, from playing in the English Premiership with Gloucester Rugby to making his International debut for Italy as a replacement in the Nations Autumn Cup and gaining his first full cap against Wales in the same Competition as part of his achieving 7 caps in the last 12 months.
Euan Dyer continues to excel in the sport of hockey and he featured at the Futures Cup in August, captaining the Wales U18 team, and winning the Adidas Player of the Tournament award.
Euan also represented Wales U18 v Ulster in Belfast and the Wales U19 team in a series against Ireland, Scotland and England, where they recorded a very rare victory against England.
Euan then played for Wales U21s against Scotland in Wrexham and has subsequently been selected for the Wales Senior Men’s Development team to play against Malaysia U23 at the National Hockey Centre in Cardiff on Saturday 9th October, as an 18 year old.
Having previously been playing hockey for Swansea, Euan currently plays for Oxford University, where he just started.
Joe Phillips has opened the bowling  for Llangwm 1st XI  with an excellent  economy rate  and  taken 42 wickets  this season, most impressive for someone so young. 
He has been instrumental in helping Llangwm win the 2nd division league title, with personal best figures 4 for 8. Joe also represented the Pembrokeshire Senior cricket side at 16 yrs. of age, playing a key role as opening bowler against the MCC and South Wales select.
He has continued his international career, representing the Welsh   under 18’s squad, predominantly all games in England or North Wales to show the commitment needed at this level.
A true all-rounder he also plays for Llangwm youth in rugby, representing the county last year.

Female Achievement - Valerie Howards, Sanna Duthie, Lisa Neumann

Lisa Neumann is definitely worthy of her nomination in the female sporting achievement category due to her undeniable commitment to Women’s Welsh Rugby throughout the last year.
Everything Lisa does is to put herself in the best position to represent Wales and she was not only selected as part of the Wales Women’s Six Nations 2021 squad but started and played every game - and was one of their key players.
She was chosen for the Six Nations Team of the Tournament following her outstanding performance across the campaign.
Lisa scored one of the only tries in the Women’s Six Nations’ campaign – and Lisa continues to inspire women and young girls across Wales to pick up a ball and start playing rugby.
Valerie Coleman is well-known in Fishguard for her commitment to fitness. Val has swum and taken part in Yoga, Pilates and group walks for many years.
However 3 years ago, 2 weeks after her 90th birthday she fell and broke her hip. The battle to regain her fitness was tough but in March 2020 she joined Fishguard and Goodwick Jemima Rowing and Val quickly established herself as World Champion in her age group.
National and International competitions were run virtually last winter and Val established herself as Welsh, Scottish, British and World Champion in 2000m and 500m distances, frequently breaking her own records.
Val plays a very active part in the club, attending all training sessions and encouraging others.
In 2020 Sanna attempted to run the whole of the 186 Pembrokeshire Coast Path, but after approximately 76 miles a large storm overnight made it unsafe for her to continue and she was persuaded by her support crew to withdraw.
In May 2021 she tried again, and for over 51 hours she ran and hiked continuously all 186 miles on foot, stopping for one 15 minute nap.
She was supported by friends, her partner and her father. Her attempt was verified externally and is now the official fastest time ever.
This year she has also competed in ultra races in Wales and won most of them. She truly exemplifies amazing sporting achievement in very difficult circumstances in a very tough year for everyone.