William and Joyce – Neyland’s unsung heroes extraordinaire!

Stars of the Month - The  McGarvies

William and Joyce McGarvie can look back with great pride on over 50 years of their involvement at Neyland Judo Club as the founders - and they are still committed to its continuing success despite taking a slightly less 'hands on' approach.

William is a Black Belt Third Dan and Joyce is a Black Belt First Dan and both are rightly held in huge esteem across the M4 corridor and beyond for their work in helping literally hundreds of former and current judoka in bringing credit to Neyland, not only for their winning of trophies and international recognition but also for the way their young charges conduct themselves once they are off the dojo (judo mat).

Founded the club – 50 years ago!

They started t the club after William had met up with Sandy 'Skip' Buttle as part of a Youth Leaders' course and became interested in judo - and was soon heavily involved thanks to Sandy's inspirational leadership, plus help from Tony Markham in Milford Haven.

He first set out with his new club at Neyland Youth Club and received every help from Bryan Watts for a short while and then Tony Organ, who did a marvelous job before the youth club closed after 35 years and they found new headquarters like the old squash courts and the main hall at the Neyland Athletic Club.

Judo is a way of life for the McGarvies because every youngster is taught the need for self-discipline, respect, commitment and good manners from the first time they enter the club.

This approach has certainly worked over the years because they have current Welsh internationals and really top previous performers with the likes of Lee Beddington, Julie (Collins) Ashley-Jones and Nikala (Clay) Harding. plus others too numerous to mention.

Like parents . . . like son!

Their legacy to judo is an outstanding one and both readily admit to a great deal of pride that the club's reputation has been further enhanced by the fact that son Damon has now taken over the reins and as a Black Belt Fourth Dan has also taken their sport into Pennar Junior School, where he is the head teacher and holds after-school classes for many of his young charges.

It is also good to report that the McGarvie's continued pride in their town is further demonstrated, with William as a member of Neyland Town Council - and is currently the deputy mayor. Next year will see him honoured as mayor and, as you would imagine, he will be fully supported by Joyce.

"It is an honour that I never believed would happen for me," admitted William, "and I am conscious of the challenge it will present - but I can only promise to do my best and carry it out with commitment and dignity."

We have absolute certainty that William and Joyce will do just that and we are proud to be able to recognise their wonderful contribution to sport in general, and judo in particular - and we are delighted to present them with our 'Star of the Month' award for January 2019 as a token of our esteem!