Congratulations to Yr10 pupil Bethany Moule (of Neath Harriers), who on Saturday 21st January, at the West Wales Indoor Athletics Championships, was presented with the JDB Williams Award by the Welsh Schools Athletics Association for the top field event performance of summer 2016. Bethany is currently the UK U15 girls’ all time record holder for the 500 gram javelin with a throw of 48.84m. She was ranked number 1 in the UK in 2016 finishing clear of her nearest rival by 7m. The season ended with her being undefeated in her age group with gold medals in the UK Championships, Welsh Championships at both U15 and U17 age groups, Celtic Games, Welsh Schools Championship and UK Javelin Carnival, setting numerous league and championship records in the process.
Bethany made steady progress through her schools qualifying events in April breaking long-standing schools and area records in the process, and not by a small margin, but by a massive 5m with a throw of 41.44m!
Even though Bethany was a strong favourite for the Welsh schools title in Cardiff in July, she did not let the weight of expectation get to her and again threw a new championship record of 38.94m in the process of winning the title. By winning the Welsh Schools title Bethany gained selection for the SIAB International in Ashford, Kent in August. The international competition proved what a great big-time athlete Bethany is and how well she copes with the pressure of big events by pulling out an incredible throw of 48.84m and setting a UK U15 girls all time British record. Incredibly, Bethany did not win the event; it was won by another Welsh athlete Bethan Rees with a great throw of 50.25m. Bethan is however two years older than Bethany, and is a great role model and target for Bethany to chase which is great news for Welsh javelin throwing.
Bethany’s summer progressed with another milestone, she was selected as the girls team captain for the Celtic Games and again backed this up with a comfortable win with a throw of 43.37m. The climax and cherry on the cake of Bethany`s season was the AAA UK U15 Championships in Bedford at the end of August. Although she was by now feeling the aches and pains of a long season she battled on and won the gold medal, even though she wasn’t feeling 100%, with a throw of 40.86m.
Bethany’s achievements to date are even more incredible due to her young age of 14. She has only trained specifically for javelin for 18 months in what is a very technical event, which athletes do not fully mature in until their mid-20s. Her achievements already indicate what a dedicated and talented athlete she is. Bethany is currently trained by experienced coaches John Davies and Nev Clarke at the Swansea indoor centre where she trains for 7-10 hours a week, not only in the technical elements of javelin but also strength and conditioning.
Bethany’s talent has not gone unnoticed, with two Welsh international vests this season and a two page article in the Athletics Weekly August edition.
Congratulations Bethany on your outstanding sporting achievements in 2016!