West Ham on their visit to Lynn with Bethan Jones, left, trying to regain possession.
Safer Summer Staycation

It’s the turn of footballer and fitness coach BETHAN JONES to answer our columnist Gavin Caney’s latest set of questions

What are your earliest sporting memories? 

Playing for North Wootton Primary School team with the boys.

I always used to play for boys’ teams until King’s Lynn Community Football held summer camp sessions. 

That was when I started to play in girls only teams, when I joined their academy.

Were you handy from a young age? And was it more than just football you excelled in?.

I grew up playing football from a very young age as my brother and dad were football mad. 

Growing up my parents pushed me to try every sport going and I was also quite handy at running and netball.

In 2014 you were crowned the College of West Anglia’s Sportswoman of the year. How proud did you feel and how much did it help with your future opportunities?

Yeah I was very proud of that. During my time at CWA I loved playing for the college team; the girls and the coach (Jamie Buhlemann) were great. 

As well as playing I was also given the opportunity by King’s Lynn Community Football to help out with football sessions whilst at college. 

Watching and working alongside those coaches for three years has given me the confidence to run my own U8s team in Wales.

You’ve enjoyed some time pulling on the King’s Lynn Town Ladies shirt. What was it like playing for the Linnets?

The Linnets will always be my home team. I was fortunate enough to play for the academy back in the day under Jess Ibrom for a couple of years and then when I returned to Norfolk  at 16 I played for Lynn Ladies. 

My favourite memory has to be playing at The Walks against West Ham when we drew 2-2. 

The coaching staff, players and mentality at King’s Lynn Ladies has always been top drawer. 

I must make a special mention to Michelle Stewart for being the team’s manager since the start and taking the team from promotion to promotion. 

You lived the American dream by taking up a soccer scholarship at Eastern Florida State College Athletics. What was it like over there?

Playing in America was amazing. 

The universities put so much money and focus on students playing sports that the facilities are the best I’ve ever experienced. 

I’ve also never experienced a pre-season like it. We would train three times a day for two weeks. It was a dream (apart from the morning fitness sessions, they were a nightmare).

You’re now a fitness trainer and online coach. How’s that going and in simple terms how do you go about creating improvements for individuals?

Yeah it’s going well. I’m hoping to transition from personal training to rehabilitation in the next year or so when I complete my Masters at university. But both go hand in hand and are very similar. 

An individual’s goals and motivation are the key in progression. 

Knowing why they want to progress, knowing their behaviours and creating an exercise and nutrition plan that can fit around their work and social life is a great starting point.

Bethan Jones is enjoying being a fitness trainer and online coach.

Mental health is a huge issue right now, how important do you feel the links between physical fitness and mental wellbeing are?

They are so, so important! It has been proven in studies over many years (this isn’t a new theory) that exercise can help mental health and I think during lockdown people are now starting to see the link themselves. 

Hopefully, this is something that can get even more attention and funding so schemes can be run in the local community. 

A local lad from King’s Lynn that’s constantly running programmes off his own back to support mental health is Karl Tansley. He’s doing a great job.

Finally, how’s your football going in Wales and when it returns tell us a bit about who you will be playing for?

I’ve just signed as captain for a new team called Bangor 1876 so I can’t wait for this new season to start. 

I’m also running my own U8s girls side for Bangor 1876 academy so it’s all go, go with football this year.

The facts are…

Name: Bethan Jones 

Date of birth: 07/05/1996

Birth place: Oxford

Grew up in: King’s Lynn and Cyprus

Former clubs: AE Ammachostos, Cambridge United, King’s Lynn Town Ladies

Current club: Bangor 1876

Position: Defensive midfield

Sporting hero: Gareth Bale

Instagram: @Bethanlouise_ & @bethanjonesfitnesscoach

• Bethan played against USA players Alex Morgan and Ashlyn Harris as well as ex-England international Lianne Sanderson in a pre-season friendly whilst in America.

• The former Linnet was the College of West Anglia’s Sportswoman of the Year in 2014.

• She has met Argentinean Pedro Pasculli and got to hold his World Cup trophy from 1986.

• Bethan was once a mascot for the Wales team when they played in Cyprus.

• At the age of 12, she started playing for a semi-professional women’s team in Cyprus.

Quickfire questions

Restaurant or takeaway?

Night in or night out?

Bath or shower?

Tea or coffee? 

Sweet or savoury? 

Summer or winter? 

Day or night? 

Cinema or theatre?

Favourite food: Lasagne

Least favourite food: Casserole

Favourite TV programme: Game of Thrones 

Least favourite TV programme: Bargain Hunt

Favourite band/musician: Skrillex 

Least favourite band/musician: Classical stuff

Favourite film: Pearl Harbour

Least favourite film: Anything with Jim Carrey in 

Answers in bold and italics