Bright future as opportunity knocks for talented cousins
DREAMS really can come true — as two talented cousins at Pentrehafod Comprehensive School pupils have found out.
Ballet dancer Taylor Rowden has been offered a place at the esteemed Kate Simmons Ballet School in Warrington, while her footballer cousin Connor Lemonheigh-Evans has recently signed to Bristol City FC on a two-year contract.
The pair, who both turned 16 in January, are delighted with the opportunities after pursuing these careers from a young age.
Since the age of 4, Taylor attended ballet classes at the Pamela Miller Ballet School, in Morriston.
Following her audition in November at the Kate Simmons school she has just been accepted on the three-year Level 6 National Diploma in Professional Dance as well as their dance instructors course. The school prides itself on the talent, skill and understanding of its students, who must learn both the physical and mental capabilities of dance.
Taylor said: "When I got the acceptance I just couldn't believe it. I thought the audition had gone well but there were a lot of other good dancers too.
"I still can't believe it now."
Connor is also following the limelight with his new contract at Bristol City after an interest was shown by many clubs. He has made appearances at international level too, having played his debut for Wales in the Under-16s Victory Shield squad and has been named in the Wales Under-17 squad to play Finland next week.
Debbie Rowden said she was delighted at the success of her daughter and nephew.
She added: "They are really close cousins. There's only three weeks between them and they've grown up together so for them to be doing this now is brilliant."
But the single mum is also concerned about the financial cost of sending Taylor to the dance school and is looking for sponsorship from local businesses.
One Swansea business, Andrew Evans Painting Contractors, has made a donation.
Debbie said: "I'm really pleased and grateful for their support. It's absolutely brilliant."
"It's beyond my means as a single parent so any sponsorship would be fantastic.
"It's such a great opportunity for Taylor."
If you are a local business and would like to help, call Debbie on 07788 218135.