Sarah loves coaching a range of sports!

Football has been part of  Sarah Owen's life for as long as she can remember after starting out as a nipper with Helen Matthews, who did a great job at Pembroke Borough, as an eager striker who scored heaps of goals.
"We started out in five a side at Pembrokeshire Leisure Centre," Sarah told us," and at one time I was averaging almost ten goals a game - and was spotted by county coach Gerry Rigby and after trials and training sessions in Haverfordwest I was drafted into the squad.
"As I got older I began to play under 11s under the watchful eye of Bob Nelson, who also coached me when I began playing ladies' football and played lots of games against the likes of Swansea and Cardiff.

Welsh team selection

Sarah Owens "When I was 14 I was delighted when I was selected for trials with the Welsh under 15s and even more thrilled when I was chosen for the full squad as the only girl from Pembrokeshire and played against England at the Manchester United training ground.
"I managed to score a goal with a left foot shot on my debut and we were given our kit as a memento, which I still have in a display case today."

More clubs benefit from her playing

When the Borough team folded Sarah joined Neyland and was coached by Colin Picton and then joined Haverfordwest County as they won the league and cup double by beating the likes of Clarbeston Road and Tenby.
"I've also played for Pennar Robins, where Chrissie Lloyd was easily one of the best coaches I've ever come across, and Camrose, where coach Dom Brodie took us to the quarter finals of the Welsh Ladies' Cup. Sadly we got well beaten by Cardiff but it was a great experience."

Huge range of sporting interests of benefit at Sport Pembrokeshire . . .

Sarah Owens teaching a lifting techniqueOutside of her football, Sarah played netball, hockey, tennis and rounders at Pembroke Comprehensive School, and when she went to Pembrokeshire College she captained them for two of her three years there, as well as a year coaching the team alongside playing girls five a side, tag rugby and badminton.
Small wonder then that Sarah is an asset at Sport Pembrokeshire because of her ability to help out in a wide range of sporting activities that also includes rollerblading and now weightlifting, which she took up two years ago when she joined her friend Britney Thomas at the South Pembrokeshire Weightlifting Club on Criterion Way in Pembroke Dock,

. . . And at South Pembrokeshire Weightlifting Club too!

"Justin Head does a great job as head coach there and from the very start I was given a warm welcome by the 20-plus members.
"I am the only female lifter but I'm delighted that when I started up a Ladies Club for fitness sessions I have had 12-15 regularly coming to take part once a week. We use exercises like kettle bell swings, box jumps, squat thrusts, sit ups, press ups and other sports in what we try to make a lot of fun along with hard work.
Of her own weightlifting Sarah readily admits that it is a work in progress after starting out quite well in the 'Clean & Jerk' but finding it harder with the 'Snatch' technique that is technically more demanding.
"I started off using a bar with no weights attached but I have gradually built up my totals so that I have almost doubled my initial weights.
Sarah has already taken the plunge in taking part in the full glare of the public when she attended a competition in Cross Hands, Carmarthenshire, where she readily admits she was the most nervous she has ever been in sport.

Taken up coaching with Justin

Sarah playing footballSince then it is typical of Sarah's sporting involvement that she determined to coach others, as she did whilst attending Pembrokeshire College and achieving her Football Leaders and 'C' Licence as part of her foundation degree course in Sports Coaching and Performance, encouraged by lecture Andrew Thomas.
With Justin's help she enrolled on a basic course to coach Weight Lifting and passed - so that she is now able to help encourage others to take part.
"It took place in Pembrokeshire over a few sessions where there was a theory component and lots of practical assessment where I had to demonstrate my ability to put the theory side into practice, particularly with regard to health and safety issues.
"I was delighted with the end result and even more pleased when Justin organised the chance for me to move on to the Level Two badge where it was obviously a lot tougher since it also involved coaching adults.
"I also had to devise a training programme for a range of ages and as well as the theory element there was also another demanding practical session.
"But at the end I was told I had passed and congratulated on my enthusiasm, as well as ability to pass techniques on to beginners."

Sarah preparing to liftGreat day with ‘Community Sport’

This was very much in evidence at the recent 'Community Sports Day' at Pembroke Leisure Centre and had youngsters from seven to 15 trying their hand by using a wooden bar and light weights.
Her eager enthusiasm and calm advice clearly worked because there were lots of participants, including girls, and some new members at the club as a result!
Sarah's latest venture into a new challenge comes with her involvement at Sport Pembrokeshire, where she holds lunch time and after-school classes at a wide range of schools in sports like roller blading, dodge ball, cricket, football and badminton - and enjoys them all.
Loves cricket – and working with Angela Miles
Then there's been cricket with Craig Butland and Jemma Phillips in the 'All Stars' scheme, under the guidance of Martin Jones.
"I have also agreed to help Angela Miles with disability sport and I have already earned so much from a brilliant lady who does so much in encouraging participation and enforcing the view that it is 'ability' and not 'disability' that counts.
It all adds up to a total commitment to sport and the newest recruit at Sport Pembrokeshire is raring to go in terms of encouraging others to try a wide range of activities so that they can gain the sense of fun and belonging that she has been lucky to have almost across the sporting spectrum!

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