Commonwealth Games Wales confirms the first 11 Para athletes who will compete in Birmingham this summer
Commonwealth Games Wales are pleased to announce that eleven athletes have qualified to represent Wales in the Para Swimming, Table Tennis, Triathlon, and the IV Lawn Bowls competitions at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Grace Williams and Joshua Stacey will represent Wales in the Para Table Tennis competitions, held at the NEC. Birmingham 2022 will be Grace’s debut for Team Wales, whilst Joshua Stacey secured a bronze medal in Gold Coast 2018.
Table Tennis Wales National Coach Josh Morgan “We at Table Tennis Wales are delighted to have Grace and Josh apart of our team for Birmingham 2022. It’s a credit to the hard work the players and their coaching team’s have put in, which has resulted in them achieving a qualification spot at the games. Josh had a fantastic outcome, winning bronze, 4 years ago in Australia and we are proud that our Para representation has grown for Birmingham’’
Para Swimming will take place at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, and the four athletes who have qualified are; Lily Rice in the Women’s 100m Backstroke S8, Dylan Broom in the Men’s 200m Freestyle S14, with Rebecca Lewis and Meghan Willis both competing in the Women’s 200m Individual Medley SM10.
Ross Nicholas, Swim Wales National Performance Director said:
We are extremely proud of the para swimmers who have gained qualification for the Commonwealth Games. This is testament to the hard work and dedication of the swimmers and their coaching teams. To see four para swimmers coming from three of our Performance Clubs really shows the depth and quality within our Performance Club network, and we can’t wait to see them race in Birmingham this summer. We have put considerable time and resource into developing Para Swimming nationally and we look forward to supporting these swimmers as part of the wider team representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games.
Matt Kendrick, Swim Wales National Para Pathway Manager added:
This is a fantastic achievement for Dylan Broom, Meghan Willis, Lily Rice and Rebecca Lewis who will represent Wales in Birmingham at the Commonwealth Games. We have seen a period of significant growth in para swimming nationally and we are incredibly proud to have representation across multiple classifications and multiple events at the Games this summer. I want to recognise and give thanks to the Performance Club coaches working with our qualified para swimmers; Nick Russell (Pembrokeshire County Swimming), Keith Morgan (Rhondda Cynon Taf Performance Swim Squad) and Ian Rosser (Torfaen Dolphins) who have all truly embraced and driven an inclusive high-performance culture within their respective club programmes. I also want to take the opportunity to recognise the outstanding work that our Lead Para Swimming Coach, Aled Davies, has done in getting our para swimmers into this position.
Two pairs of Welsh athletes have qualified for the Para Lawn Bowls with the Royal Leamington Spa’s Victoria Park hosting the event. Julie Thomas (Director, Mark Adams) and Gordon Llewelyn (Director, John Wilson) will compete in the VI Mixed Pairs. Julie Thomas, who was supported by John Wilson as Director in Gold Coast 2018, won Bronze in the VI Mixed Pairs alongside Gilbert Miles. Paul Brown and Chris Spriggs will compete together in the Para Men’s Pairs.
“We are delighted that Julie, Gordon, Paul and Chris have been selected to take part in Birmingham 2022. It’s a great achievement and well deserved, they continue to commit to a full preparation programme, and we wish them well in their ultimate goal to bring back a medal for Wales. Everyone in the wider Wales Lawn Bowls team of athletes and supporters are behind them and we hope their selection will inspire and showcase bowls as an inclusive sport for all” Stephen Rees, Para – Lawn Bowls Wales Head Coach
In the Para Triathlon event, Rhys Jones has qualified for the Men’s PTVI, becoming Team Wales’s first ever para triathlete at a Games. The Triathlon event will be held in Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield.
Welsh Triathlon Head of Performance, Louis Richards “Rhys is due to make history as Wales’ first every Para triathlete at a Commonwealth Games. It has been a privilege to support him as he worked towards qualification and his dedication & professionalism towards his training has been second to none. The popularity of Para-triathlon in Wales continue to grow and I hope Rhys along with the World Triathlon Para Series event taking place in Swansea later this year will continue to inspire the next generation of Welsh Para-triathletes.”
Today’s announcement means 23 athletes have now been named for Team Wales, with the remaining qualified and selected athletes being announced in the coming weeks.
Chris Jenkins, Commonwealth Games Wales CEO said ‘’ Congratulations to all the athletes who have been announced today. The 11 athletes across the four sports who have qualified to compete in Birmingham have shown they are on great form and I’m sure will create a big impact this summer. It’s great to see Joshua Stacey from Table Tennis and Julie Thomas from Lawn Bowls back in the team, both came home with medals in 2018 and I’m sure they will utilise their Games experience from four years ago when they start competing this summer. It’s also very exciting to see so many new faces in today’s announcement, it’s a credit to every one of the athletes and their support team to qualify for the Commonwealth Games.’’
You can follow the Team Wales journey into Birmingham 2022 across their social media channels: Teamwales.cymru / @TeamWales / #TeamWales / #TîmCymru