New athletics track named after Olympic run­ner Ron

Cynon Valley - - NEWS - AN­THONY LEWIS an­thony.lewis@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A NEW athletics track in Aber­dare has been named after a lo­cal former Olympic and Com­mon­wealth run­ner.

The £3m track at The Ynys, which was opened on Fri­day, is named after Ron Jones.

The track is part of a wider £67m ed­u­ca­tion and leisure in­vest­ment from Rhondda Cynon Taf coun­cil in the So­bell De­vel­op­ment.

Mr Jones, who grew up in Cw­ma­man and trained on the old track, said he was “over­whelmed” that the new fa­cil­ity had been named after him.

“It is a won­der­ful fa­cil­ity. The choice is in­cred­i­ble.

“I am very hon­oured as is my fam­ily,” he said.

“I would have been a bet­ter sprinter if I had a fa­cil­ity like this.

“Run­ning is a nat­u­ral thing. That track is yelling out ‘come and run on me.’

“I hope peo­ple can em­u­late what I did. That would be won­der­ful.”

Mr Jones rep­re­sented Great Bri­tain at three con­sec­u­tive Olympic games and won the bronze medal in the men’s 4 x 100 me­tres re­lay at the 1962 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships in Bel­grade.

He also won a bronze medal in the 4 x 100 me­tres re­lay while com­pet­ing for Wales at the 1962 Bri­tish Em­pire and Com­mon­wealth Games.

Coun­cil­lor Ann Crim­mings, Rhondda Cynon Taf cabi­net mem­ber said: “I am so proud to be here. This is a mile­stone for sport in the town, RCT and the whole of Wales.”

Leader of RCT coun­cil Coun­cil­lor An­drew Mor­gan said it has been fairly chal­leng­ing and taken a bit longer than they thought but that it is “as good if not bet­ter” than what was there be­fore.

He said: “It has been a real plea­sure to see this de­velop. It is one of the best sport­ing fa­cil­i­ties in the Val­leys.

“We are try­ing to de­liver the best pos­si­ble ser­vice for res­i­dents.

“The num­bers who get in­volved (in run­ning) are on the up which can only be a good thing for health and well-be­ing.”

AN­THONY LEWIS

Ron Jones, sec­ond left, of­fi­cially opens the new athletics track in Aber­dare

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