LLANELLI AM Lee Waters met with gym owner Keri Mckibbin last week to hear how his Burry Port fitness centre is transforming the lives of local residents.
The gym, a community fixture for more than 60 years, has built a strong reputation for supporting people at all levels of fitness with often remarkable results.
Visiting the gym following their recent participation in Sports Wales’ ‘More Than Sport’ campaign, Mr Waters met with Sherry Croft to discuss her personal experience of becoming fit.
Until a year ago, Sherry, 54, was an agoraphobic – plagued with knee problems and diabetes. But since joining the gym her life has completely turned around. Following a double knee replacement, in April 2016, Sherry, joined Mckibbin’s Gym, determined to tackle her weight gain. It was a real struggle at first because of Sherry’s agoraphobia (a fear of being outside). But in just a year, she has lost nearly nine stone in weight, has reversed her type 2 diabetes and says she has never felt more confident.
Sherry said: “Before my husband died, I was 10 years shut in. I had high blood pressure, cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and severe depression. Coming to Keri’s gym has literally changed my life, it’s such a comfortable, safe place, I never feel intimidated here.”
“I’ve lived in Burry Port for 17 years, but because of my depression and agoraphobia I didn’t know a single soul. Since coming to the gym, I’ve made a lot of friends – we’re so close, we really support each other. And we have a lot of fun!”
“All I’d say to anyone that’s struggling with some of the issues I’ve had is to come give it a go. The first step is the biggest leap – but once you’re here, you’ll never want to turn back.”
Keri Mckibbin, owner and personal trainer at the gym, said: “Sherry is an inspiration to us all – about what you can achieve if you push yourself. It’s been wonderful to see the changes in her as she’s grown more and more confident each day. But it’s not just Sherry who’s turned her life around – I’ve had cancer sufferers, severe back problems, and heart issues.
“I pay close attention to each person’s individual needs, designing a highly personalised training programme that supports them to achieve their goals.”
Lee Waters said: “It’s the personal touch that Keri offers that clearly makes all the difference. He’s a friendly, supportive man who’s passionate about fitness. He knows every person who comes into his gym and he’s 100% committed to helping them achieve their fitness goals.”
“We need to find more ways of supporting people to access their local gym. GPs have begun to refer people to local leisure centres, but we need a mix of approaches as the huge, strip-lit impersonal environment of a leisure centre isn’t for everyone.
“I’ll be writing to the Health Secretary to push the importance of giving local gyms a chance.”
Police appeal following assault in Llys Glan Y Mor
POLICE in Llanelli are investigating an assault which occurred in the vicinity of St Davids Close and Llys Glan Y Mor, Llanelli sometime between 9.00pm on Saturday 10th April and 1.30am on Sunday 11th April 2021.
A 45-year-old male was taken to hospital with facial injuries.
Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.
They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.
Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police either online at: bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference DPP/0006/11/04/2021/01/C.
Police trace burglar who left trail of oil leading to his home
A MAN was charged with burglary after leaving a trail of oil from a stolen generator leading police from a victim’s home to his own.
Dyfed-Powys Police officers were able to quickly trace Dominic William Oliver after he went on an overnight burglary spree in Burry Port in March.
The force received reports of two garage burglaries and a theft from a car overnight on Monday, March 8, with a generator, fishing rods, and two bags containing passports among the stolen items.
The combined value of the items taken was estimated to be around £800.
Sergeant Gemma Davies said: “An officer attended the victims’ homes, and was made aware of a trail of oil, which was believed to have come from the stolen generator.
“She followed it along several streets – one of which was where Oliver had stolen two bags from a car – and discovered that it ended outside a property on Dandorlan Road.
“Oliver agreed to a voluntary search being carried out, and as officers entered the property they immediately noticed a rucksack with a distinctive pattern that had been described by one of the victims.”
The search was completed, with further items suspected to have been stolen recovered from the address, and the 31-year-old was arrested on suspicion of burglary within six hours of the incidents being reported.
While being conveyed to police custody, Oliver made a significant comment linking him to the theft of the generator.
He was charged with two counts of burglary and one theft, and appeared at Swansea Crown Court for sentencing on Friday, April 30.
He was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 18 months, must complete a rehabilitation requirement, and must remain at his home address between 8pm and 6am for three months.
Sgt Davies said: “This was an excellent response, which resulted in the swift arrest and charge of Oliver, and the recovery and return of stolen property to the victims the same day the offences were reported to us.
“This has no doubt had a positive impact on the residents of Burry Port, who have commented positively on how the matter was investigated.
“Community engagement, patrols and a crime prevention leaflet drop was carried out following the investigation to offer reassurance and advice.”
Further coronavirus restriction relaxations brought forward
FURTHER changes to the coronavirus restrictions have been announced by the First Minister Mark Drakeford today.
The Welsh Government has confirmed further relaxations will be brought forward from 17 May to 3 May – including the resumption of indoor supervised activities for children, indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults, such as exercise classes, and the re-opening of community centres.
This means Wales will have completed the move to Alert Level 3 by Monday 3 May.
From Saturday 24 April, the rule of 6 will allow for up to six people from six households to meet outdoors, not including children under 11 years of age or carers from those households.
The Welsh Government has also confirmed the relaxations that will take place on Monday 26 April. Outdoor attractions, including outdoor swimming pools, funfairs and theme parks, will be allowed to reopen, while outdoor hospitality can also resume, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants.
Organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people will be able to take place and weddings receptions can begin again outdoors for up to 30 people.
Wales has the lowest coronavirus rates of the UK nations. The successful vaccine programme continues with a higher proportion of people vaccinated in Wales than other nations of the UK for both first and second doses.
Changes from Monday 3 May:
- Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities being able to reopen;
- People will also again be able to form extended households with one other household.
Relaxations planned for 17 May will be brought forward to the 3 May, including:
- The resumption of indoor supervised activities for children;
- Indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults (such as exercise classes and swimming lessons);
- And the re-opening of community centres.
The First Minister said:
“The sacrifices we have made continue to show results. By us all working together and sticking to the rules, combined with our vaccination programme, mean we continue to make progress. Rates of the virus continue to fall and the public health situation is improving.
“Due to these efforts we are able confirm more easing of the restrictions from 26 April and for early May we are again able to bring forward some of our plans. However, this progress is dependent on all of us continuing to work together to keep Wales safe.
“At the last three-week review, I set out a forward-look of how the restrictions could continue to be lifted in the weeks ahead, if the public health situation remains stable.
“It will be for the incoming Welsh Government to confirm these arrangements at the next three-week review, which will be held on May 13 – a week after the election. It is my assessment that the hospitality sector – bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes – will be able to open indoors from May 17, together with all other tourist accommodation, indoor entertainment and attractions.”
Further possible easements are subject to the public health situation remaining favourable.