AN Aberystwyth birthday boy has celebrated his half century by lifting half a tonne of weights for charity.
Hywel Davies has spent the last few months training for the day he lifts 500kg to raise money for Bronglais hospital’s chemotherapy ward.
His birthday today (4 April) was the day he finally got to see the months of training pay off.
Mr Davies completed the challenge surrounded by family and friends, including his good friend Rowland Phillips, who used to play rugby for Wales.
Mr Phillips said: “The amount of weight he lifted, that’s a top end challenge. When we were training as part of the Wales squad we had a proper weights program, and that’s how much we - as top end athletes - were pushing. To be doing it against the body weight he has, about 80kg, it’s going into the realm of ridiculous.”
Mr Davies has always been a keen sports enthusiast, when he was younger he was on track to play for the Scarlets first team, and ex Rugby player Rowland Phillips said he would have made a good rugby league player. Mr Phillips said: “It’s a real shame he never got the chance.”
Mr Davies’ dream was cut short after a car accident left him in a coma for six weeks, and forced him to spend months in rehabilitation, where he had to teach himself to walk and talk again.
In the years after the accident, Mr Davies was treated at Bronglais Hospital. The ‘exceptional care and support’ he received at the hospital inspired him to do this challenge, as a ‘thank you’ and way of giving back to them.
Mr Davies said: “Bronglais Hospital has provided me with exceptional care and support over many years. I celebrate my 50th birthday on 4th April, and as a thank you, I have decided to set myself this fundraising challenge.”
Mr Davies has raised over £700 so far but he hopes he can raise £5,000 for the hospital. He has set up a Gofundme page which can be found here.
Mr Davies has been described by friends and family as someone ‘tenacious,’ that tenacity was on full display after he finished the challenge. The first thing he said afterwards was: “I want to go again.”
Mr Davies said: “After all of the training I’ve done for this, why would I stop now? If I can do this, I can keep going, and set higher goals. Now that I’ve done this I’ve proved that I can go beyond the limit, but where is that limit now? I won’t know unless I keep going.”
Mr Davies’ success is something he attributes to the people who have supported him after the accident, and for many years since.
Mr Davies said: “After the accident, I had mum, dad, my brother and the whole family supporting me. Not to mention the rugby clubs across Tregaron, Lampeter and Aberystwyth. I could not possibly thank everyone enough for all the kindness and amazing work they did for me.
“Seeing everyone there today gave me that extra push of dedication. I can’t thank everyone enough for the support and kindness they have given me.”