New athletics track named after Olympic runner Ron
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.”
Ron Jones, second left, officially opens the new athletics track in Aberdare