James Wilson graduated from the University of Chester in 2011 after studying Journalism for three years.
Whilst completing work for his course, James kept close contact with the local newspaper in Welshpool, Powys, mid-Wales; the County Times.
James also branched out, completing freelance work for selected newspapers, online distributors, and researching and announcing news broadcasts for Newtown's former local radio station, Radio Maldwyn, now Radio Hafren.
Some of his work has also included writing for 'The National Student' and 'Positive News', which he still writes for in his free time.
If you would like to contact James regarding him writing for a publication of yours, please feel free to get in touch with him at:


James Wilson



A series of investigative interviews

Truth is authority. Authority is not truth

3Man Project turns focus on the best

Cerys Matthews interview -
Looking forward to Brecon.
County Times Friday, September  10, 2009

DJs and fans wanted for
'bass invasion' of Newtown.
County Times Friday, October 9, 2009 

Family website turns up
some 'black sheep'

County Times,  October 16, 2009

How an Italian and a Pole
found love in Mid Wales
County Times, October 16, 2009

Emma needs sponsors for
Marie Curie Cancer Care
charity walk along the Great Wall of China
County Times, May 14, 2010

Tops with the tokens
County Times, May 21, 2010

'Car Crash' Clubs's 50th Anniversary
County Times, June 11, 2010

Fantastic fund raising day
County Times, June 11, 2010

Religion helps Gerard with heavy weights
County Times, June 11, 2010

Keeping Powys children active
County Times, June 11, 2010

Testing times for Emma as Great Wall
of China trek is put on hold
County Times, October 1, 2010

Tamika Campbell, Gareth Urwin
and Johnny Candon @ Alexander's Jazz Bar

The National Student, 22nd January 2011

Festival on eco-farm aims to
reconnect people with land and food

Positive News, 16th June 2011

New scheme to boost
job opportunities in East London

Positive News, 9th August 2011


Rory Evans - an interview with
An interview with Ghostbuster,
Psychic Medium & Paranormal Investigator, Rory Evans, from Newtown in mid-Wales

Evolving at Free Will -
Left / Right Brain Thinking - Understanding the Metaphor

Alex Davies - An Internview with
An introductory interview with
up-and-coming singer/songwriter
and music/video producer Alex Davies

Monday February 18th, 2013

3Man Project turns focus on the best

Making videos to promote Newtown town centre are,
from left to right, James Wilson, Andy Harden and Oliver Reynolds

Report by Andrew Morris;
Calling themselves 3Man Project, they have so far filmed five videos - known as docuverts - showing what is available in the town and are now hoping more businesses will get in touch and put the town on the map.

Mr Wilson said: "It all stems from an anonymous video which made it on to YouTube last year making Newtown out to be a ghost town. We were chatting and Andy said we should get together and make videos showing just what the town has to offer. The aim is to stimulate interest in the community. This gives independent businesses a voice and through the filming and editing techniques, lets them showcase exactly what they have to offer, what their store looks like from inside, and shows exactly where they are located."
Three men who say they were sick of seeing their town centre deteriorate in front of them have created a series of videos to give it a boost.

James Wilson, Oliver Reynolds and Andy Harden, who owns computer games shop Ego, have worked with businesses across Newtown in Mid Wales to create the promotional videos in a bid to boost the town's economy.

To see the videos visit;
 www.3manproject.co.uk/ or     www.youtube.com/3manproject

Cerys Matthews interview -
Looking forward to Brecon.
County Times Friday, September  10, 2009

CERYS Matthews will perform live in Brecon next month as part of a three-week tour of Wales to promote her new album.

The Welsh-born singer's new album entitled, Don't Look Down, with the name influenced from the film Man on Wire and hidden behind a "metaphor" stemming from a "dream", will be available on October 5 in both Welsh and English languages.

Cerys will be promoting her latest album with theatre shows beginning in the Mwldan Theatre in Cardigan on Saturday, October 17 and ending in Harlech on Sunday, October 31, with an eagerly anticipated show in Brecon at the Theatr Brycheiniog on Wednesday, October 28.

"Theatre shows are a lot more intimate, every show is unique, you can strip it right down to playing good songs," explained Cerys.

"The last time we played in Brecon we had an hour or two spare so I went on a canal trip. The sun is always shining in Brecon."

Cerys will also be expecting a new addition to the family in January with her third child, her first with her new-found love, and manager, Steve Abott.

Entering a busy time in life, Cerys still manages to squeeze in room for her 'BBC 6 Music' radio show, 'Cerys on 6', every weekday from 1pm till 4pm.

With Cerys's wide-ranging music taste you can expect her to be playing live songs from varying artists such as 'The Kenyon Boys' Choir' to her own personal coverage of the 'Glastonbury Festival'.

"I have a wide taste in music, ranging from Classical to Folk, from Jamaican to Blues," she told the County Times.

Another BBC project came as writing and presenting a BBC2 documentary, on Celtic poets. And with another documentary on Dorothy Squires, a fellow Welsh vocalist, it led her to the formation of her own TV and radio production company, 'Rainbow City'.

The 40-year-old blonde leapt back into the nation's sight when she was a contestant on the ITV hit show, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! in where she stayed on our TV screens for our viewing pleasure until the final day, but was eventually voted off - finishing in a very respectable fourth place.

"I thought, 'you've only got one life, I'll just jump into the jungle!" she said when asked about the life-changing participation decision.

Cerys has come a long way since the breaking up of her chart-topping band, Catatonia, in which she was lead singer.

They were widely known for songs such as, Road Rage, You've Got a Lot to Answer For and Mulder and Scully.

The 'Sexiest Female in Rock' which she was voted by a reader's poll in a popular magazine has also had a successful stint with Tom Jones on the classic, Baby It's Cold Outside and an equally popular song with Space entitled The Ballad of Tom Jones. Cerys has also released three previous solo albums, Cock a Hoop, Never Said Goodbye, and more recently, Awyren=Aeroplane which won the Eistedfodd award for contemporary song - the first time it had been bestowed in 23 years!

These up-and-coming live shows will feature old and new songs written and collected by Cerys during her travels.

"I'm looking forward to everything!" she added.

DJs and fans wanted for
'bass invasion' of Newtown

County Times Friday, October 9, 2009 

MIXING IT; Like many DJs, Stuart Maccallum,
aka DJ Fat Stu, started mixing his decks
from his bedroom at home.
Photo; Rob Davies

MID Wales DJ Stuart Maccallum is set to run his own drum and bass night in Newtown on Christmas Eve, with acts from across the UK playing.

'Bass Invaders', as the event will be called, aims to attract new and up-and-coming talent locally and nationally for fans of drum and bass music, and dubstep - a form of electronic music which shares its roots with London's garage scene.

With four years of experience behind him, including tours of Liverpool, Manchester, Northampton and Shrewsbury, and DJing for big names such as Random Concept, Innovation and Ghost, as well as alongside the likes of Drumsound, Chase and Status, Break, Lomax, Shy FX and with warm-up sets for Pendulum and Sub Focus for their album tours, it is safe to say that Stuart Maccallum is a rolling stone.

But he sticks to his roots, stating that he first started listening to house and techno styles of music, "and I've never lost passion for that genre," he explains. Though drum and bass seems to be the style that works best for him when he says, "I found that my calling card was in the Drum and Bass industry."

The calling card has been answered with many gigs and shows added to his CV, though Stu urges other local DJs to get in touch and become part of his 'Bass Invaders' spectacular. "I'm hoping to get as many local upcoming names as I can, to give them a chance of playing," he said.

When asked how it all started, Stu praises Sonny Wharton (pictured above), a DJ who's local to Welshpool, for the influence and how he began. "I started when Fuze (in Newtown) began selling records and this is where I met Sonny, he was the person to start my passion for DJing.

"I used to run there every day after school just to chat about new music and where Sonny was DJing next. I loved it! Every moment I had to waste would be in there."

Stu has been listening to names such as Welsh DJ and record producer Sasha, John Digweed, drum and bass musician, producer and DJ, LTJ Bukem and the fast-mixing Andy C along the years, but still says his biggest influence is Sonny Wharton.

"He also got me my first gig at the infamous 'TRASHED', which now has world-wide success. I have everything to thank Sonny for because if it wasn't for him I wouldn't have the courage to go out there and get what I want from music.

"I also give a lot of thanks to another up-and-coming local DJ who is now making his mark in Cardiff, Tom Davey."

Stu typically uses CDJs, which are similar to the traditional vinyl turntables classically used in DJing, but made for CDs, and also Technics turntables and desks when at home or in the studio, but he says the equipment he uses varies from club to club.

"When I'm not DJing and I get into producing, I use Ableton, Albino and Native Instruments products," Stu explains.

The biggest forward musical push will be when he travels to Manchester University this November to study Musical Production, something he has already turned his talent to.

"I have my fingers crossed for a few tracks that I've produced that have been given to big names, labels and artists, who are seeing plays from them.

"The tune that I'm looking to get released early next year is a liquid drum and bass track with influences from early Motown records and features a lot of bass driven styles."

Stu is pushing his music 100 per cent at the moment, travelling to places such as Berlin and Lithuania to perform inside clubs to hundreds of drum and bass fanatics.

But before another trigger is pulled, his event 'Bass Invaders', which is to be held in Newtown this Christmas Eve, will be a chance for him and other local talent to shine. To find out more information and if you're interested in playing at this event contact Stu at stuart_Maccallum_5@msn.com.

This event is set to make a very loud impact on the drum and bass scene so reach in before the opportunity is blasted away!


Family website turns up some 'black sheep'
County Times, Friday, October 16, 2009  

Ken Davies' family  history website is soaring with interest and support from all over the world.
Originally surrounding his family in Penmon, a small village near Beaumaris on the south-east tip of the Isle of Anglesey in Wales, it has now developed to cover many aspects, not only of Penmon, but of many other areas where his family have lived throughout the ages.
With contact from
people living in 45 different countries such as Japan, Brazil, South Africa and Australia, many of whom are interested in adding to his "collection" by sharing their memories of loved ones, Ken also helps them by "trying to fill in gaps" in their research.
"People are happy to share family photos from the Victorian and Edwardian eras and these photos are priceless to me as they support the names of people who would normally just appear on a census record. It brings them alive!" said Ken.
In Newtown, family and friends of the late Keith Harding, former chairman of Newtown Football Club, have supported Ken and his website by contributing a "fantastic collection of old local football photographs," which are available for viewing at www.penmon.org.
"We have now compiled quite a comprehensive history of football in Newtown in Keith's memory with the full support of his daughter Nicky Morris, wife May, the Football Club itself and its many supporters. I've learned so much about the club's past and it's all recorded on the website to share."

Ken began researching the history of his family after a holiday with his parents in Llanrwst, Denbighshire where his father's family originated from.
"I'd never seen my grandfather's grave. Dad didn't like talking about death related matters, and had never taken me there. I asked him if he would like to put flowers on his father's grave, and to my relief he replied that he would.
"Taid's grave bore just a simple stone, with the inscription I.G.D.. Idwal Glyn Davies. When we came home that evening, I decided to strike while the iron was hot and asked both my parents about their, 'our' family.
"I was amazed by the knowlege they had. I wrote it all down on paper - just names, dates of birth, where they lived and about their lives.
"Most importantly though, as a result of that memorable graveside visit, my grandfather, grandmother and aunt, who died very young, now have a new gravestone, fully inscribed."
After that heart-warming family story, Ken revealed that after all the information he received that night, he prepared Family History booklets and passed them around the family. But due to more relatives getting in touch, he had to re-write the booklets!

"Then I discovered someone's family history website, and soon found I was contributing a lot of information about my family to it and thought 'Why don't I create my own?' which I did, and the rest is (family) history!"
Since then Ken has been contacted by relatives he didn't even know about, and they have supplied him with information and photos he'd never seen before. Now he shares all of it with others on the web.
After meeting up with old friends Pam and Len recently, they mentioned to Ken that they wanted to write their own story, so he offered them a page on his website for them to do so:
"Pam and Len Watkins gave up 'normal' life to go on the road in a horse led waggon with their son Lee, to live the Romany life a few years ago. They toured a lot around Montgomeryshire and many local people will know them."
According to Ken's family tradition, they too have some Romany blood running through their veins, "so in a way, I'm keeping that memory going," he says.
Ken has come across countless findings in his family history research , but two stand out in particular:

"Firstly, my great uncle Charles who emigrated to America in 1911 and died out there.

Charles Goodman Roberts

My grandfather, just before he died, gave me some of Charles' personal possessions - a gold watch, postcards, a family trunk, and asked me to take great care of them.

"I wanted to find out more about Charles, and discovered that he committed suicide in America - he was found hanging in his aunt's barn out there - a tragic tale. This was a closely guarded family secret - no current living members of the family knew about this at all, such things were stigmas then.

"Only recently have I obtained a photo of him, from a relative who discovered my website. I always wear the watch at important family events - it still works."
Ken's website  acts as an information point for family and friends to get in touch about their family history, good or bad, as he continues:
"Secondly, I recently discovered we had a black sheep - a criminal - in the family! He was tried at Beaumaris Court in 1880, fined one pound with nine shillings costs (a lot of money in those days) for stealing fern and some primroses from the garden of a Beaumaris mansion!

"He was my great grandfather's brother, who had the now inappropriate name of 'Goodman' Roberts."
When asked about how people can follow in his footsteps and find out about their own family history, Ken replied:
"Initially, they must have an interest in their family's past, and be prepared to record it. Get as much information from living relatives as possible, and in my case, find a website which is easy to work on.
"Family history is not just about a family tree - the names on the tree are the bare bones, the people themselves are its flesh, their lives, where they lived, their homes, their neighbours, and even where they are buried.
"You just keep searching and you find some more. I started with about a dozen pages on my website - it now consists of about seventy - and is still growing.
"Thanks goes to the tremendous support from everyone who shares their love of their family's past with me."
You can log on to Ken's website at www.penmon.org

If you would like to set up your own family history website, then Ken is happy to help out.

Letters, Friday, October 30, 2009

Dear Sir,
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the County Times for giving work experience opportunities to youngsters learning their vocation in journalism.
An article about my website, "Family website turns up some black sheep'", appeared in the County Times, written by James Wilson, who is currently studying towards a BSC honours degree in journalism. I was very impressed by his attitude and style of questioning, complemented by a professionally written article.
I was delighted to receive an e-mail  from a researcher for BBC Radio Cymru, who having read James' article, would like more information from me about the website,
www.penmon.org   This resulted in an interview on the popular Welsh radio programme, 'Jonsi'.
Had James not spotted the potential for an article, this wonderful opportunity would never have occurred.
Thank you James and thank you County Times.

Ken Davies, Newtown, Powys.

Harsh memories of wartorn Naples for Ada
How an Italian and a Pole
found love in Mid Wales

County Times, Friday, October 16th 2009

SECURE IN MID WALES; The family after the war and the move from Naples to Newtown.
From left; Ada, her mother, Olga's daughter, Olga, Olga's son, Olga's husband, Ronnie Patrick


"NAPLES was the city of song and laughter," reminisced Ada Rosinski from her home in Newtown.

"People were always singing in the street. Life was beautiful, everyone was happy. Men worked while the girls stayed at home to cook and clean, as it was back in those days.

"I remember the occasional parties in the streets for weddings or birthdays. I had a beautiful voice and used to sing and dance for people. But then it all changed."
Life was pleasant for Ada Rosinski, a 17-year-old at the time, as she was greeted by sunny, easy going mornings with her family. But all of a sudden, "it became very, very hard."

The sun faded away on November 1, 1940, when Naples was bombed for the first time after reports war was coming.

"Announcements were made over the radio," Ada told the County Times. It disrupted happy families when males as young as 16 joined, were taken, or were convinced to fight against the enemy and support their home country.

Shopkeepers abandoned their businesses and fled as air sirens pitched the skies acting un-purposely like a warm up sound before the plane engines came to be heard. Life in a beautiful, peaceful city had just taken a turn for the worse, with soldiers invading the streets.

"Water and food, they were taking over everything," says Ada, looking down as she slightly shakes her head to the horrible memories, with her right hand's two first fingers touching her lip.

"There was a pump in the middle of the town which the boys would try and rush to to pick up some water for the family. But sometimes they would never return.

"Some were found dead in the street." Mothers used to hide their sons in their rooms to protect them from lurking soldiers, who, when knocked on their doors, used to ask for the men. "There's no one here," Ada said they used to claim, "Sometimes they would break in and search the house and if boys were found, they were taken.

"They had no respect, breaking everything around. They were awful, and cruel. We saw a few soldiers far away, we would never dream of going near them. They started shooting if someone went near."

Food was scarce and findings were carefully rationed, but shared with the neighbours as community friends stuck together through, what must have been, a nightmare.

"We used to sleep fully clothed just in case we heard the sirens, then we'd all run to the basement. Myself, my mum and my sister were terrified."

Meanwhile, in Poland, a young man had just started his own printing company.

But as news broke that war had begun, Czes Rosinski, who had to serve his country, crossed over to England to fight against the Nazi German soldiers, "walking miles and miles every day," says Ada, who had never met or heard of this man at the time.

Czes was captured by the invading Germans and held prisoner before managing to escape and travelling to London where he stayed for a long time.

After noticing a place in the paper, he moved to Newtown, which seemed like a much quieter, more peaceful place to live in.

He stayed in Newtown working at a printing company, which is now where St Mary's Close flats have been erected after the demolition years ago.

After the war had ended in 1945, Ada's sister, Olga, had found love with a British soldier in Naples. They got married and both moved to his home here in Newtown to find work. But Olga was feeling very home-sick leaving her mother and sister behind especially after the family-uniting war and the times they had experienced together over the last few years and decades

Seeing as Olga was so happy being with her new husband, but missing the rest of her family, her mother moved to Newtown to be with them - and Ada joined. This was another hard time for the family, in a strange new place with a different language and a different culture. But once again, they fought through it.

"We started going to the Catholic church. And one day they announced a 'dance' up on the top floor of the Pryce Jones building," said Ada. "It was a St Patrick's Day dance and I went with a friend."

It was there that Czes noticed Ada and they began to chat, which led to a few more meetings and only six months after Ada had introduced Czes to her family, who were a bit wary before the meeting. But soon they were engaged, and not long after Ada and Czes, as refugees from Poland and Italy, were married in Wales.

It was the war that moved people around, only for them to find love. Whether it be the need for comfort, the vulnerability of peace, or the celebration of happiness, the impact had affected the lives of millions around the world and for people to find love after it, Ada's story shows that with determination and support for one another then happiness can be found after anything, no matter how hard.

Emma needs sponsors for
Marie Curie Cancer Care
charity walk along the Great Wall of China
County Times, Friday, May 14, 2010

NEWTOWN's Emma Lander is raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care charity by completing a sponsored walk along the Great Wall of China.

Emma, 21, needs to raise £2,400 by June to secure her place on the walk which will take place between September 10 and 18 this year.

Seven to nine hours per day of solid trekking will occupy these dates with the money raised going towards providing high quality nursing to people with terminal cancer that the Marie Curie Cancer Care provide for.

"I am raising money for Marie Curie as they are a fantastic charity that provides care for people suffering with cancer; as well as making the patient feel as comfortable as possible they also help to lift the massive pressure from the family members at this difficult time," said Emma.

Marie Curie run 10 hospices across the UK, offering free specialist care for patients, and support for the families.

Every year the charity provides care to around 25,000 cancer patients and their families free of charge, and Emma's fundraiser will contribute to the Marie Curie Nurses who now care for around 50 per cent of all cancer patients living at home.

"Remember cancer affects one in three of us. Marie Curie offers this service free of charge and so needs constant donations to be able to continue to do so. £1 provides three minutes of nursing which shows just how much help the charity needs and fundraising events such as this one are a great way to get funds for them," she continued.

To raise support for Emma's walk, donations can be given by visiting www.JustGiving.com/Emma-Lander1

A raffle will also be taking place at Morrisons, in Newtown, on May 28, to raise funds towards Emma's walk on the Great Wall of China.

"I cannot wait for the walk, I think it will be incredibly challenging but well worth it, and being able to hand over a minimum of £3,000 to Marie Curie will be brilliant. Pleae help me in any way you can to raise the money, every penny helps. Thank you in advance to you all," she concluded.  

Please click here
to sponsor Emma

The Great Wall
of China

Click here to read more

Photo; Wikipedia

County Times, Friday, May 21, 2010

Montgomery Under Nines Football Team are the winners of The County Times Kit For Your Klub competition.

They will receive £300 worth of vouchers to spend in Clubsport in Newtown while the runners up, Llanidloes Junior Girls F.C. and Newtown Whitestars Under 12's F.C. will each receive £150 worth.

The competition was set up to collect tokens printed in the County Times from Friday, March 19 until April 2, and the team with the most tokens won first prize.

"We're absolutely delighted about winning, we didn't expect it at all", said Martin Jacques, Assistant Coach for Montgomery Under Nines F.C. "We have all the boys and their families, relatives and friends to thank for helping. We all pulled together, it was a team effort off the field really!" Some of the Montgomery Under Nines Football Team will advancing as they get older to the Under 10s next season, but they can still enjoy wearing the new tracksuit tops the vouchers could very well go towards. "We haven't decided what to spend the vouchers on yet, we've been thinking about new kits for next season, but we might buy brand new tracksuit tops with 'Montomgery Juniors' on the back". The young Montgomery team has only lost four games since their foundation two years ago by Head Coach, Clive Jones. These losses were two games last season and two games this season.

"Credit needs to go to Clive Jones for building the team up the last two seasons, also to my wife Rebecca who helped organise this Kit For Your Klub competition amongst the team," said Martin. 

On July 28, the team will be heading to Aberystwyth to participate in the 2-day annual International Super Cup, formerly known as The Ian Rush tournament, where they will be competing agianst teams from across the world.

Well-known footballers such as Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Owen Hargreaves and its current all time top scorer, Michael Owen, have all been discovered at the event and Martin said; "We will be playing in a different class than what we're used to but we're all looking forward to it!"   

'Car Crash' club's 50th anniversary
County Times, Friday June 11, 2010

Carno Football Club celebrate their 50th anniversary in September with a reunion open to all players, supporeters, and officials old and new.

Carno have enjoyed a memorable history having originated from an idea shared by Bernard Evans and Edward Glyn Jones and the late Meirion Rowlands, while in the pub convalescing after a car crash.

"When we got better we organised the Carno Football Club idea down the local watering hole," said Bernard Evans, one of the club's founders. "Our first away game was versus Llandinam," continued Bernard, "We took the train from Carno to Moat Lnae, but there was no connection  to Llandinam, so we had to walk the rest of the way."

The crashed car
that helped
spawn Carno F.C.

As well as many exciting stories, Carno have had a number of triumphant victories in their history, including their first away game against Llandinam, which they ended up winning 5-2.

Another important victory was against Machynlleth in the Welsh Amateur Cup in 1963, which the underdogs won 1-0.

An early Carno F.C. team

Carno ended up winning the Montgomeryshire Cup in 1982, marking their arrival as a competitive Mid Wales side, having been formed following an idea in the pub 20 years earlier.

They had a rough start with cost and obvious organisation troubles, but pulled through which has earned them nothing but respect.

"In the begining  it was dearer to pump the footballs than to rent the fields", said Bernard, before inviting all players and, supporters and officials old and new to the reunion, which will take place on September 4, at the Community Centre in Carno.

Founding fathers; Co-founders Edward Glyn Jones (left) and Bernard Evans with some of their memorabilia from the early days of Carno

"It would be great if anyone could bring any memorabilia connected to Carno F.C. throughout the years. We would be very grateful."

To find out more information or contribute memorabilia contact Mr Evans on: 07951 051 091. 

 Montgomeryshire and District League Table
1960 - 61
Carno F.C.'s first season.


Llanymynech Res
Trewern United
Forden United 
Montgomery Town
Llanfair Caereinion
Meifod Rovers
Pl  W  D  L    F      A  Pts
32 26  3   3  111    44 55
32 24  4   4  149    48 52
32 24  3   5  106    43 51
32 21  3   8  108    48 45
32 19  5   8  110    62 43
32 18  3  11 126    61 39
32 15  7  10 107    80 37
32 15  3  14 104    95 33 
32 10  7  15   70    90 27
32 11  5  16   63    79 27
32 10  5  17   53  101 25
32 10  5  17   66    84 25
32 10  4  18   86  113 24
32   8  3  21   63  130 19 
32   6  6  20   66  127 18
32   6  4  22   56  129 16
32   3  1  28   47  156   7

League table courtesy of the
Welsh Football
Data Archi

(click here for more
Montgomeryshire & District.
league tables)


Fantastic Fundraising Day
County Times, Friday, June 11, 2010
by James Wilson

Emma and her father, Kevin had a fantastic fund raising day on Friday, 28th May, courtesy of Morrisons, Newtown, as part of Emma's Marie Curie Cancer Care, Great Wall of China Trek.
The County Times first reported on Emma's trek, which will take place in Septermber, and their fundraising day in Morrisons, which ended up as a great success.

"I was at Morrisons from 8am to 7pm and we raised £477. I think we have now just about raised roughly £2,400 which is what I need ed to secure my place, so that I can go on the trek in September. I am really chuffed with the day's event! It has really boosted  the charity collection!" said a delighted Emma.

She added "People were very generous and I can't thank them enough. We have just finished delivering all the raffle prizes and they were received with great excitement by everyone.

"I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported the cause on Friday - my family, everyone who supplied wonderful raffle prizes, the customers who supported me at Morrisons and to the store itself for giving me this wonderful opportunity to raise funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care.  Cheers!"

Help Emma to keep raising funds by donating online at www.JustGiving.com/Emma-Lander1 or you can now donate using a sponsorship form that can be picked up at the Post Office Kerry.  


JAMES WILSON met a Mid Wales weightlifter
who wants to help inspire the sport's next generation

Religion helps Gerard
with heavy weights

County Times, Friday June 11, 2010

RELIGION and weightlifting may seem like strange bedfellows - but for a Newtown weightlifter faith is the cornerstone of his success.

Gerard Matthews turned his life around at 19 and steered away from bad habits, a lack of discipline and failing dreams.

"I was the architect of my own downfall, my own worst enemy. I was harming myself and others around me. It was ruining my life," said Gerard. But a quiet trip in to the local Catholic Church changed his thoughts, his feelings and gave him inner strength.

"It became something real, something I couldn't deny. I had wanted to start doing better things in my life and stop doing others, but I couldn't. After I found God and he started working in my life, I could. It wasn't a huge miracle, it was a feeling I had in my heart.

"I learnt to make the most of my true potential and to stop denying it. If he knows what your potential is, then by sticking to his guidelines, we can reach our true potential. A lot of people get the wrong idea, it's all about being humble. It's not about judging other people, more like judging yourself.

"If God hadn't intervened I would have probably ended up in jail."

Gerard's experience changed his life and gave him the strength to focus on what he wanted to do and gave him the opportunities to make it happen.

"It's not something you can convince people of, it's something that has to happen to them," he explained.

"Sport can help in their spiritual journey as people have to strive and learn the hard way. It teaches self discipline and uplifts them out of negativity. Exercise helps spiritually, mentally and physically and leads us away from the destructives like alcohol and smoking." 

Gerard's transformation has led him to national level competitions in powerlifting, bodybuilding, weightlifting and strong man and now he is looking for like-minded people in Mid Wales and surrounding areas that are interested in weightlifting especially to step forward and show their enthusiasm towards the sport in any way they can.

"It's a shame that the Olympics are coming up in two years and the way the UK is looking, we're not going to win any medals in weightlifting."

Since the age of 16, Gerard has been lifting weights, training in various gyms from behind the Elephant & Castle in Newtown, to friends' gyms, to where he currently trains now at Glyn Vernon's Weightlifting Club, Newtown.

Now his main aim is to contribute to the sport, and to society, and with many years of experience, commendable books, and help and advice from experts in the field, Gerard wants to share his knowledge with those keen to  take Britain to the top of the world.

"I'm willing to give the time to people as long as they are interested and have the motivation to succeed," says Gerard, "There is currently nowhere to train in Mid Wales. Weightlifting involves special training, rubber weights, decent mats and good, proper equipment."

Gerard is well on his way to attaining a coaching qualification in weightlifting which will be another step closer to him opening up his own club to give people the opportunity, that Mid Wales is desperately in need for, to train, along with his expert coaching.

One of his books, which is commended by a very well known author and president of a multi-million dollar business in America, talks about the necessary attitude towards weightlifting and that it's not just about the physical side, it also requires a very strong faith, which Gerard has experienced first-hand, to succeed.

The book he is currently writing is about drug-free training:  "I'm trying to encourage people to train without performance enhancing drugs. I'm trying to educate people not just on the dangers, but to show them how to reach the top level, drug free."
Gerard entered his first competition at the age of 19, attempting to qualify for Mr Britain in 2002. In 2003 he came third in the Mr Wales, Junior division.

In between training for competitions, injuries are bound to happen, and Gerard was no exception: "At the end of 2003 I broke my leg playing rugby, which halted my training for a year. Ultimately, our human strength is very frail, the only way for me to overcome struggles is with God, I'm relying on God to look after things.

"It's not like everything's gone perfect, I still have setback's.

"But in 2005 I came back."  In 2005 Gerard came first in the Welsh Powerlifting Competition in the over 120kg weight class.

After his win he started training with former Britain's Strongest Man and competitor for World's Strongest Man every year since 2004, Mark Felix.

Together they trained and with Mark's experience and advice to Gerard, things were starting to seem a bit more 'real': "I went from feeling like just having a go, to feeling like I had a real shot for Britain's Strongest Man. It gave me a sense of, 'I could make it'."

Unfortunately he suffered another injury, this time a back injury. "It's not all about success, a lot of the time you get knocked down, but you've got to get back up and carry on. That's an important lesson.

It really is hard work, there's no glamour involved, there's not much money. I think people get the wrong idea. It's not just an easy ride."

Despite his injury, Gerard competed in the northern qualifier for Britain's Strongest Man in 2005, finishing 10th out of 12 in, even with his injury.

Only two months later, Gerard took part in another strongest man competition, this time in Scotland at the Blair Atholl Highland Games Event which seriously added to the extreme work-load of training and competing: "Afterwards I felt physically wrecked, I had to take time off."

In 2006, Gerard gave it another go at competing; squaring off against the top-level competitors at a very high level, in a very hard competition, which included his mentor, Mark Felix.

In 2007 and 2008, Gerard competed in Wales' Strongest Man competitions, in which he came seventh and third (missing out by one place for Britain's Strongest Man) respectively and met his new trainer, Laine Snook.

The following year involved no competitions, just training, and this is where Gerard turned his attention to Olympic Weightlifting.

"Most 'strongest man' competitions aren't drug tested and I feel the weights are getting dangerously heavy.

I want to compete in a fair playing field. In the Olympics, it's very disciplined. Weightlifting employs speed, flexibility, technical skill and strength.

"It is beautiful when it is done correctly, just like gymnastics."

In March 2010, with another injury, Gerard competed in the Welsh Championships, in which he won first place in his super-heavyweight class, saying: "I didn't lift as much as I was hoping to, but I was pleased."

"I would like to see the sport grow and give people opportunities. Unlike some other sports, there is very low participation in weightlifting, so people have a very good chance of making it far and winning competitions. I am willing to help them achieve that.

"I am looking for like-minded people to participate and help. If it's with financial backing, supplying a spare shed or gym to train in, it all helps.

"It is nothing commercial; it is to benefit Wales and the community. I've got the equipment; we just need more investment and funding for a premises. I can put the time in to instructing.

"My faith has made a lot of difference in my life, I know I've done stuff wrong, up until the age of 18 I had no interest in church, but I was saved. Now I am achieving my aspirations and dreams, and I want to help others do the same."

If you are interested in helping Wales and the community reach success in a worldwide, Olympic sport then you can contact Gerard on 07816 829517. 

JAMES WILSON finds out about  a company bidding to inspire children of the benefits of sport.
Keeping Powys children active

County Times, Friday June 11, 2010

Health risks dominate the media with obesity levels on the rise and no signs of slowing down, junk food is available almost 24/7 and exercise replaced by binge drinking and the X Factor.

Our bodies are desperate to be re-activated.
The younger generation especially feel the full extent of our unhealthy lives which has led to Newtown's Joe Murray and Barry Lloyd setting up their own business to offer children the opportunity to get active.

Activ8Kids is designed tojust that with after-school clubs, holiday courses, Sunday Soccer, and birthday parties.
"There are no barriers to joining in - whether your child is already a budding David Beckham or Rebecca Adlington or new to the field, our coaches will make sure each and every one of them learn, enjoy and exercise in a healthy, safe environment," said co-founder and managing director, Joe Murray.

"Our coaches are trained in many different sports so who knows, your child may well discover the sport which becomes a passion for life.

"Our after school sports clubs provide parents with a perfect solution to finding that extra hour or two in the day with no hassle. Your child simply stays at school while our professional coach makes sure they end the day with a healthy bout of exercise and fun activity."

After-school clubs are not the only chance to keep kids active, they could also join in with other children, socialise and remain active during school holidays.

Every weekend could also be spiced up with exercise with Activ8Kids holding a 'Sunday Soccer' club every week during term at 3pm in conjunction with the successful Newtown Whitestars set-up.

"Our junior football academy with links to Newtown Whitestars runs every Sunday at 3pm for ages four to nine and includes expert coaching for boys and girls too young to play in local league sides", said co-founder Barry Lloyd.

"They will participate in an hour of fun football, which will improve technical ability and kick start a child's soccer experience.

"Activ8Kids aim is to start development at an early age, promote equality and inclusion while also boosting technical improvement, teamwork and fair play through sport."

Further information is available on 07790 632413 or 07894 235666 or at the Activ8 website which is www.Activ8Kids.co.uk

Testing times for Emma as
Great Wall of China trek is put on hold
County Times, Friday, October 1, 2010

NEWTOWN's Emma Lander is undergoing tests to find out the problem which halted her plans to walk along the Great Wll of China for charity, writes James Wilson.

Emma was planning on walking the wall this September with donations going towards Marie Curie Cancer Care, but due to unforeseen chest pains her trek has had to be postponed.  

"We're not 100% sure what the illness is yet but I'm undergoing tests to try and find the problem" said Emma. "I have been transferred on to next year's trek so fingers crossed I can make that one instead."

Emma secured her place on the trek by raising a huge £2,951.46 with endless donations from people willing to support her determination towards fundraising for charity, with all the money raised at Morrisons raffle earlier in the year already being put to good use by Marie Curie.

"I was gutted when I realised I wouldn't be walking for charity in China this year, but it does mean I have something to look forward to next summer and another to do more fundraising. It also means I have a year to get fantastically fit." 

Please click here
to sponsor Emma

The Great Wall
of China

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Photo; Wikipedia


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