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Welsh football clubs need UK-wide approach to plan for fans return to stadiums say Tory Senedd candidates

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Welsh football clubs are calling for a joint UK approach to fans returning to stadiums – as a deviation in Wales could lead to English clubs holding a significant competitive advantage during the EFL Play-Off games. 

Currently, the plan for fans returning to stadiums is different in Wales than it is in England, where they could return from 17th May. This potentially creates an issue for Welsh clubs. 

With Swansea City, Newport County and Cardiff City all holding a realistic prospect of qualifying for the Play-Offs, there is serious concern around the competitive disadvantage that Welsh clubs could find themselves in if fans are able to return in England but not in Wales. 

Myles Langstone, Senedd Candidate for Gower, met with Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium to discuss the issue, along with his colleagues Andrew RT Davies, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, and Tom Giffard, Senedd Candidate for South Wales West. 

Myles Langstone said: “If the Swans reach the Championship plays offs we may not be able to have fans at the Liberty – but our opponents in England could have the competitive advantage of having the support of their home fans at their stadium.

“As a Swans fan, I know how important the home support can be to pushing the team on and helping to get the best out of the players. Over a two-leg play off, with games played home and away, this would be deeply unfair. The Welsh Government need to act to ensure that the return of fans follows the scientific evidence and follow a UK-wide approach.

“I want the Swans to be given the best possible chance of reaching the Premier League again and fairness in the approach to fans is vital to that. If fans can return safely in England, then they should return safely here too. I urge the Welsh Government in the strongest terms to put this right.”

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Fitness

Tyson Fury comes to Swansea as Ware-house Gym celebrates first anniversary

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“Gypsy King” Tyson Fury is making a special appearance at Cwmdu’s Ware-house Gym as the venue marks its first anniversary.

Is he retiring or does he have plans for making another comeback?

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Chris Ware, one of the owners of Ware-house Gym says he’s looking forward to the boxing legend’s live and unscripted visit, which promises a great night of entertainment and maybe even a song or two from the people’s champ himself.

Chris said: “It’s amazing to have such an iconic sports man coming to Swansea. Not only has he inspired so many people through sport but also the way he has battled his own mental health problems.

“His story is amazing on so many levels. He appeals to so many people, and it’s a privilege to have him in the gym.

“Between world class dance brands and now one of the biggest sports stars in the world is coming to Ware-House Gym Swansea, it’s been a great first year.”

The gym opened last year during the height of the pandemic, but despite it’s difficult start the venue has gone from strength to strength.

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It even hosted a pop-up nightclub as Sankeys, one of the UK’s most recognisable club brands announced the opening of their first Welsh venue at the gym.

The Cwmdu venue is now attracting national attention, as the gym became finalists in the UK Active awards for “New Concept, Build or Design of the Year.”

Staff at Ware-House Gym with owner, Chris Ware (centre)

Chris added: “We have pushed and stretched ourselves to provide a 5 star facility that everyone is welcome in.

“When we look back at our plans, we have nearly ticked off every little detail we aimed for. It has been exhausting and stressful but the support of our members and professionalism of our staff has helped us keep the standards so high.

“We have set the bar and we want to move forward as the best gym in the UK.”

Tyson Fury is at Ware-house Gym on Saturday 16 July, with tickets available from Warehouse’s website.

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Swansea City Football

Swansea Building Society to become new Swansea City AFC back of shirt sponsors

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Swansea Building Society has renewed its partnership with Swansea City Football Club in a new sponsorship deal which will see the building society, with headquarters in the city, become the back of shirt sponsors for the 2022/23 season.

The renewed commitment follows a three-year sponsorship deal with the Championship team, which saw an executive lounge at the club’s home venue – the Swansea.com stadium – renamed the Swansea Building Society lounge.

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The new deal will see the Swansea Building Society logo adorn the club’s kit in a prominent position on the back of the players shirt on both the home and away kits for the 2022/23 season.

Swansea Building Society and Swansea City AFC have a long history together, with the Society providing various sponsorships to the club over recent years. Both organisations also share a similarly long history as key features within the Swansea community. The football club, then known as Swansea Town, won its first league honour in 1924, just one year after the founding of Swansea Building Society as a mutual. Both have gone on to achieve considerable growth and success in the intervening years.

As the building society approaches its centenary year, it has achieved record results and passed the significant milestone of £500 million in total assets.

Consequently, the mutual – with branch offices in Swansea, Mumbles, Carmarthen and Cowbridge – has expanded, investing £1 million in IT, and recruited six new members of staff in the current year to date. This was all achieved on the back of posting growth of £28.5 million in the first quarter of the year – its highest ever growth figure in any quarter since the Building Society was formed in 1923.

The Society’s principal objectives are the provision of savings and mortgage products across the South Wales area. Its unique range of personally tailored mortgages are funded by the savings of its members. As the only financial institution with its headquarters in South West Wales, it prides itself on its personal, face-to-face approach, which it uses to serve its members, customers and their communities in a tailored and flexible way. This approach enables it to help individuals and their families achieve their financial goals securely.

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Alun Williams, Chief Executive of Swansea Building Society, said: “It’s wonderful for the Society to be able to renew its partnership with Swansea City Football Club as back of shirt sponsor for the coming season. Swansea Building Society has a long tradition of support for the city’s football club, and we share a similarly long and rich history, as well as a commitment to the city of Swansea and its communities.

“The Society approaches its centenary celebration having recently achieved record results and passing several significant milestones. In that context, we felt it important to renew our commitment to Swansea City AFC, and we wish the club every success for the coming season and beyond.”

Lead image: Alun Williams, Chief Executive of Swansea Building Society (left), with Lee Merells, Commercial Sales Manager Swansea City AFC

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Ammanford

Leading insurance broker announces new sponsorship deal with Ammanford Cricket Club

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One of the UK’s leading independent insurance brokers, Towergate Insurance Brokers, has teamed up with Ammanford Cricket Club for their current season.

The partnership sees Towergate Insurance Brokers sponsor the upcoming Premier League match at home against Neath on 30 July, receiving exclusive access to one of the club balconies for 12 invited guests, featuring in the coin toss and appearing on the website and in match day programmes.

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In return, Towergate Insurance Brokers is providing essential funds to help cover the costs of running the club, maintaining the playing surface and ground at Ammanford Park, as well as donating two prizes of fourball golf at St. Pierre and Machynys for the club’s charity day which takes place later in the season.

Ammanford Cricket Club runs three senior sides on a Saturday, Cup teams on a Sunday and a midweek side, in addition to ten junior mixed teams, two girls’ teams and Friday evening All-Stars programme. They are focused on developing grass roots cricket, having over 150 juniors registered with the club.

Their first team plays in the South Wales Premier League and is captained by Alun Evans, ex-Glamorgan, and NZ Northern Districts player, for the 13th year running. They also have two allocated Glamorgan players available to their squad, Billy Root and Andrew Salter.

Peter Davies, Club Chair, said: “We’re really pleased to have Towergate Insurance Brokers on board as a sponsor this season, supporting our club as we continue to grow stronger after the pandemic.

“Towergate is well known here in south west Wales and have strong links with the sporting world, so having an association with such a large company will hopefully help enhance the wider attraction of the club.”

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Howard Phillips, Account Executive, at Towergate Insurance Brokers, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Ammanford Cricket Club this season, helping them continue to provide cricketing opportunities to so many in the town.

“This partnership was a natural fit for us as we have a lot of expertise in providing insurance to sporting clubs and associations, having worked with the Cardiff Devils and West Wales Rugby Union already this year.

“We look forward to watching the first team in the South Wales Premier League, particularly seeing Andrew Salter and Billy Root in action, and wish them the very best for the rest of the season.”

Towergate Insurance Brokers, which has over 60 offices nationwide, has a strong Welsh presence and a long-standing relationship with sporting teams across the country, having sponsored ice hockey team the Cardiff Devils since 2019.

(Lead image: Ammanford Cricket Club)

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