Selection is a ‘dream come true’ for athlete
A RHONDDA man has said being named in the Team Wales squad for the Commonwealth Games is a “dream come true”.
Rhys Jones will represent his country in the men’s 100m event (T37) at Gold Coast, Australia, next year.
Rhys, 23, said: “Being selected for my second Commonwealth Games is such an honour. I never thought I would represent Wales at a Commonwealth Games in the first place, but to do it twice in a row is a dream come true.
“I always represent Rhondda Cynon Taf in everything that I do and convey my most sincere thanks to the council’s Sport RCT and Disability Sport Wales for their continued support on my journey.”
It’s his second games having previously been selected for Glasgow in 2014.
At the age of two, Rhys was critically ill with viral encephalitis.
He was resuscitated three times and was in a coma for 12 days. When he woke up, he had no movement down the left side of his body.
His vision was impaired, and he also had epilepsy as well as memory and emotional problems, leaving him with no confidence or self-esteem.
But this all changed when he decided to join the RCT Tigers Football Club at the age of 14, and in the same year joined an athletics club where his coach recognised his impressive speed. He was entered into the 2009 Special Olympics and has been running ever since, winning medals and trophies along the way.
Councillor Ann Crimmings, Rhondda Cynon Taf council’s cabinet member for environment and leisure, said: “Rhys is a great sporting ambassador in Rhondda Cynon Taf and is encouraging and inspiring a whole new generation to take up sport.
Rhys Jones celebrates winning bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2014