Momentum is building ahead of next year’s Llandudno Armed Forces Day.
Armed Forces veterans from across the UK gathered at Surf Snowdonia for an Adaptive Surf Championship for those with injuries sustained whilst serving.
The event at Dolgarog was supported by the charity Help for Heroes and featured a range of water-sports competitions.
Defence Minister, Earl Howe, announced in the summer that Conwy County Borough Council were successful in their bid for Llandudno to host the prestigious event on June 30, 2018.
Staged as a thank you to those serving in the forces and veterans, the week of events will include a flag-raising ceremony, Reserves’ Day, a special sporting event at Surf Snowdonia, a gala dinner at Venue Cymru, and the big day itself.
At the event, Conwy’s Armed Forces Champion, Cllr Liz Roberts, was speaking to veterans from across the UK who were already looking forward to travelling to Llandudno next June.
Cllr Roberts said the event was a huge success.
“The facilities at Surf Snowdonia are brilliant,” she said. “It was a wonderful day and great to see so many Armed Forces veterans accomplishing success through sport.
“I spoke with many of the competitors. Some of the veterans have suffered serious life-changing injuries, but this didn’t hamper their determination to succeed.
“Already the excitement is building for Armed Forces Day.
“There was quite a buzz in the air at the event, and many of the veterans who had travelled from all over the UK told me they are planning to travel up on June 30.”
Gareth Davies, 35, came second in an event for veterans suffering with spinal injuries.
“Gareth served with the Royal Navy between 2003 and 2011 but had to retire from the Forces when he suffered a serious injury.
“Gareth now lives in Taunton with his wife, Jess, and two children but took up surfing 15 years ago.
“The medical equipment technician, though, switched to body boarding when his injuries made it difficult for him to surf standing.
“I didn’t really expect it to be so well attended, and everyone was really nice.”
Gareth explained how surfing was important to his recovery and he was looking forward to returning to Conwy next year.
“I’m hoping to bring my wife and kids up to Llandudno for Armed Forces Day and take the kids to Surf Snowdonia.
“I’d like to thank Help for Heroes and my sponsors, Newquay Activity Centre and Bodyboard Depot.”