South Wales Police officer and PCSO preparing to represent Team Wales in Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
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The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games get under way this week – and we’re proud to be cheering on two South Wales Police colleagues who have been selected for Team Wales.
Ellie Coster and Owain Dando are among the names lining up for Wales in the multi-sport event in which athletes from more than 70 nations are competing.
Cyclist Ellie, a response PC based in Rumney, Cardiff, is lining up in the team sprint and 500m time trial. It is the 26-year-old’s second Commonwealth Games but her first as a police officer, having joined South Wales Police in 2019 – the same year she became a British time trial champion.
2022 marks the culmination of an extremely busy three years for Ellie, who has combined her on-track achievements with becoming a fully qualified police officer and graduating with a degree in policing.
At the Gold Coast Games four years ago, Ellie and her teammate Rachel James just missed out on a team sprint medal, finishing fourth. But she is looking forward to taking to the track again.
She said: “Most of my family are coming. It’s nice, because when I was in Australia only my mum could come out.”
Ellie has been on a career break since December, allowing her to focus on training.
She said: “Being a police officer is pretty hands-on and physical, and has helped with keeping active, and I do really enjoy that. I’m looking forward to coming back to work – the last few months have gone quite quickly, but I do miss my work.”
And she is keeping her options open for 2026, when the Commonwealth Games party returns to Australia, adding:
“Never say never. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep on cycling and see how I’m going nearer the time. The next Games are in Melbourne so that’s quite tempting!”
Meanwhile, MerthyrPCSO Owain – who has been selected for the Games for the first time – will be representing his country in two events in the lawn bowls: the triples and the fours.
“It’s going to be my first Commonwealth Games, and so it will be a totally new experience for me,” he said. “We go there with a decent opportunity of doing well. We might not be favourites, but the conditions in Birmingham will be similar to what we’re used to playing on, and unlike the conditions in Australia or elsewhere.”
Just like for Ellie, Owain is pleased that the games being hosted in the West Midlands means that family and friends will be able to come along and watch. He will also be attending the Games’ showpiece Opening Ceremony at the Alexander Stadium on Thursday (July 28).
He added: “All my family are coming up – my wife and kids, my parents. The Games being in Birmingham, they’re able to get there – and it’s great for me, in my first Commonwealth Games, to have that support.”
Owain has been working right up to the start of the competition, explaining:
“I’ve had to use a fair bit of leave to train, but South Wales Police have been really supportive. It’s not always the easiest to balance work, practice and family life – but I’m sure it will be worth it.”
"I'm delighted that Ellie and Owain will be representing our nation in an event as prestigious as the Commonwealth Games. "It was fantastic to meet them both earlier this month and hear from them not only about their dedication to their sports, but also about how they've combined that with their commitment to policing as important members of #TeamSWP. "I know colleagues will be looking out for how they get on – but regardless of their results, we're all immensely proud of them both."