I joined Pen-y-bont Surf Life Saving Club when I was 10 years old like many from Tondu Swimming club.
Many members in official positions today in the club are from that era and lifelong members. I was placed on a patrol team with Paul James and Tim Howells and will fondly remember the trips to and from the beach in the old ambulance the club had then. The gully run and Hardy’s swims were always part of our routine. I was lucky enough at a young age to be chosen as one of the juniors that went to the national championships with the seniors.
I was glad that members were smaller than me and I never had to go on top of that chariot for that race, health and safety would never allow that now, but it sure was character building!
I have 5 Welsh caps and went to Germany representing Great Britain in the pool for the European Championships. At that time, I was the youngest ever to be selected for the welsh team. I passed my “bronze” in the morning and was chosen for my first Welsh cap in the afternoon.
Pen-y-bont Surf Life Saving Club taught me many life skills. These skills and values that were instilled in me from a young age from patrol leaders and members I now use in my current role and general day to day adult life.
I am currently a Chief Inspector in Gwent Police.
Some of the most important values and skills I learnt were team work, motivation and confidence. The caring, wanting to help and keep people safe was a progression from beach and pool lifeguard to being a police officer serving the community.
I will always be grateful to the club for the opportunities it provided me to travel to beaches within UK and other countries. I have made lifelong friends and have amazing memories along the way and continue to utilise the communication and social skills nurtured within the club.