Cardiff Times Blog

GAME Cardiff St David’s launches private hire at BELONG gaming arena

GAME has announced its state-of-the-art BELONG gaming arena at St David’s Shopping Centre is now available for private hire, with special packages for birthdays, team building and stag and hen do’s.

With more than half of the population regularly playing video games and competitive tournaments drawing crowds of thousands watching off- and online, gaming is the latest experience to keep party-goers entertained.

As part of the package, groups will have a dedicated area inside the arena, with the latest PCs, consoles and games available to play on demand.  A specially-trained BELONG expert will be on-hand for the party to set up games, run tournaments, provide advice and complete demos.  BELONG branded invitations are available, and parties are able to bring their own birthday cake (singing not included).

Launched in 2017, the BELONG arena at St David’s is open for gaming seven days a week, with 36 playable PC, Xbox One and PS4 stations. The arena has its own competitive gaming team, the ‘Cardiff Saints’, allowing local gamers to battle on a local and national level for prizes and prestige.

For more information, please visit or follow @BelongCrdf

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CARDIFF, MAY 25th 2017 – GOODGYM – the community of runners who combine getting fit with doing good – launched in Cardiff this week (May 23).

The inaugural run on 23rd May saw 35 runners run 2K to Canton Community Hall where they helped Canton Grows Wild create a disabled access path to the gardens, plant 100 plants, pull up weeds and install a brand new sign. The task involved the runners shifting 1 tonne of rocks and gravel using buckets and wheelbarrows for an intensive workout before running 2K back.

Members of the new GoodGym group in Cardiff, which has a unique approach to building community cohesion, promoting fitness and reducing social isolation, will stop off on their runs to do physical tasks for community organisations and to support isolated older people with weekly social visits and one-off tasks they can’t do on their own.

The group will meet every Tuesday at 6.15pm, in the foyer of the Yr Hen Lyfrgell (The Old Library) in town, before heading off for a run and to complete a task for the evening.

In addition to the weekly group run, some GoodGym runners will also be paired with an isolated older person and commit to a weekly social visit and/or help with one-off household tasks. The GoodGym befriending scheme has been proven to reduce loneliness and improve wellbeing.

Over 320 people have already signed up to the Cardiff group, with 21 founding members.

Ben Annear, GoodGym’s Cardiff and Vale of South Glamorgan’s lead trainer, commented:

“It’s fantastic to have GoodGym come to Cardiff, the heart of Wales. I am most looking forward to helping runners succeed in their fitness goals, whilst encouraging participation in charitable efforts that aid the Cardiff community. We have already received overwhelming levels of support in Cardiff, from both runners wanting to sign up and community projects wanting our help and so it’s really exciting to think about the difference GoodGym running club will make over the coming weeks, months and years in Cardiff.”

GoodGym Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan is supported by the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Integrated Health and Social Care Partnership and has received support from the Welsh Government’s Integrated Care Fund.

Age Connects Cardiff & The Vale, the council and Age Cymru act as referrers for linking older people to GoodGym for coach runs and missions.

Maria Battle, Chair of Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, said: “On behalf of the Partnership we are delighted that GoodGym is launching in Cardiff.  We are fully committed to promoting active lifestyles as part of our strategy for keeping people well.  What is fantastic about this initiative is that this is combined with supporting older people in our communities and helping ensure that people can build friendships and retain their independence living at home.

Mathew Coffin, Service Manager at Age Connects Cardiff & Vale, GoodGym’s referral partner in the area, said: “Loneliness and Isolation is a significant problem for many older people in Wales, Age Connects Cardiff & Vale is delighted to work in partnership with Good Gym to help those in need.  Getting fit whilst helping others is the perfect combination and an inspired idea.”

GoodGym Cardiff runner Sue Fernandez from Cathays, Cardiff, said:

“I have a lot of time for the elderly, so GoodGym really appealed to me. I’m particularly looking forward to getting paired up with an elderly isolated person for the Coach Runs. The process of becoming a coach is so well organised and it’s all done properly with thorough checks and training which is really great to see.”

GoodGym Cardiff runner Mikey Owens from Adamsdown, Cardiff said:
“I heard about GoodGym more than a year and a half ago in a running magazine’s article about the London group, and I’ve been keeping an eye out for when it was coming to Cardiff and the day has finally come! I was really keen to join because it’s a nice mix of getting fit and doing good.”

David Kilner, Pollination Officer from Canton Grows Wild, said:
It was amazing to have GoodGym’s support this evening in laying a disabled access path for Canton Community Hall gardens. They are a great partner for the big changes that we want to make in encouraging people to spend more time in green spaces. It was really interesting to meet such a wide range of people who want to get fit and help their local community. I’d highly recommend them to any local community group or charity in need of some helpers. I only wish we had brought more tonnes of gravel for them to shift now!”

GoodGym runners have carried out over 50,000 good deeds to help older people and community organisations throughout the UK. GoodGym operates in 31 areas nationwide and aims to launch in every city in the UK by 2018.

GoodGym Cardiff group runs take place every Tuesday 18:15 from The Old Library. The runs are free to attend and more information can be found at

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Cardiff Bay’s indoor golf centre Tee It Up offers kids lessons

Tee It Up, Hannah Street, Cardiff, is the city’s first simulation golf complex and it opens this weekend.
Free Image.

Tee It Up to provide golf lessons for children – could your child be the next Rory or Charley?

Wales’ first golf simulation centre, Tee It Up, is hoping to find the next UK golf champion by starting children’s golf lessons.

Concerned that the numbers of children taking up the sport is declining, the team behind Wales’ only dedicated golf simulation centre has decided to nurture the next generation of golfers by running classes for children as young as six to 16.

The lessons will be run by in house PGA professional, Rob Johnson, who said: “Golf is a declining sport in the UK and we are passionate about reversing this trend. We need to cultivate the next generation of golfers and encourage more youngsters to take up the sport. There are so many benefits of playing golf. As well as the obvious physical and mental advantages, there is always the potential to find the next Rory McIlroy or Charley Hull.”

The classes start this Sunday – 28th May – and will run every Sunday morning. The lessons will be split into two age groups and youngsters of any experience level are welcome to join the classes with the assurance that they won’t be rained off at the last minute. Six lessons will cost just £25.

Tee It Up is also looking to launch a Junior Golf Summer Camp during the summer holidays so there will be no excuse for bored children this summer. Rob continued: “We aim to make the classes affordable and fun, and provide a good foundation for aspiring golfers, while mum or dad can sit back and enjoy a latte or a bacon sandwedge.”

Tee It Up was launched in November 2016 by founder Lee Griffin and golf professional Rob Johnson who both wanted to bring a state of the art golf simulation centre to their home city. It has three state of the art 4k golf simulators which allow golfers to play on a variety of courses from around the world, including Abu Dhabi, Congressional and Celtic Manor 2010. Players can bring their own clubs or use the equipment provided on-site.

Tee It Up has been shortlisted for the South Wales Business Awards in the Tourism and Leisure category. It also recently attracted stand-up comedian Russell Howard through its doors on his trip to the capital in March.

For more information about Tee It Up visit, or to book lessons ring 029 20 489768.

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From Russia…With Love, Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra


St David’s Hall

Friday 20 October, 7.30pm

CARDIFF PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA’S 2017/18 season starts in style with the fiery passion of From Russia…With Love on Friday 20 October – and tickets are on sale now!

Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 forms a fascinating centre-piece to this programme, and is familiar to film fans as the romantic music featured in Brief Encounter. Accompanying the orchestra is 2014 BBC Young Musician of the Year, Martin James Bartlett for what will be a compelling performance of this classic.

Likewise, there’s the sumptuous Adagio from Khachaturian’s Spartacus, which memorably introduced the popular TV series The Onedin Line. Plus, the concert closes with Stravinsky’s colourful ballet Petrushka, which conjures vivid images of puppets springing to life!

This captivating concert is part of the city-wide R17 Festival, which marks the centenary of the Russian Revolution and captures the social and cultural explosion of the era.

“A natural and powerful musician, he lives and breathes music”


Violinist Nicola Benedetti on Martin James Bartlett

Khachaturian Adagio (from Spartacus)
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor
Stravinsky Petrushka

Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra
Michael Bell Conductor
Martin James Bartlett Piano

Standard Price £6.50 | £9.50 | £11.50 | £17.50 | £23.50
Children under 16 £6.50 any area
16 – 22 year olds £8.50
Friends of St David’s Hall | Students | Over 60s | Claimants £2 off top two prices
Wheelchair user plus one companion £6.50 each ticket (available on single tickets only, not on Series Offer)
Groups of 10 or more £1 off each ticket

Plus an optional £1 postage fee.

PLEASE NOTE: Subscription packages for all four concerts in the 2017/18 season will be available from Thursday 8 June.


To book your seats, please visit

or call the Box Office on 029 2087 8444.

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Family Prom: The Dance-Off


Featuring Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra & Special Guest Presenter Connie Fisher

St David’s Hall

Sunday 23 July, 3pm

Get ready to bust some moves as the Family Prom returns to St David’s Hall on Sunday 23 July – and this year it’s The Dance-Off!

The city’s own Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra are joined by special guest presenter, Connie Fisher for this orchestral spectacular of dance featuring popular pieces from your favourite films and musicals.

Sling on your dancing shoes and put your best foot forward to the likes of West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Hunger Games, Danse Macabre, Puttin’ on the Ritz and Swan Lake.

Plus, sharing the stage will be squads of local young dancers who will bring the Hall alive with exciting and diverse visual displays worthy of the vibrant sound.

The host for this fun-filled afternoon starting at 3pm is Welsh musical theatre star and TV personality Connie Fisher, who earned rave reviews for her part as Maria von Trapp in the West End production of The Sound of Music.

This family-friendly concert has been specially developed for the Welsh Proms by the Arts Active team at St David’s Hall, and is the perfect introduction to large scale orchestral music!

Tickets are priced £11.50 for adults and £7.50 for under 16s.

Tickets for under 5s are FREE.

Plus an optional £1 postage fee.


To book your seats, please visit

or call the Box Office on 029 2087 8444.

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The Glory of Strauss & Elgar – the 35th Birthday Concert of the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra


St David’s Hall

Saturday 15 July, 7.30pm


CARDIFF PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA celebrates its 35th birthday with a performance of Strauss’ mighty and magnificent An Alpine Symphony at St David’s Hall on Saturday 15 July.

Since its inaugural concert at St David’s Cathedral on Saturday 19 June 1982, CPO has entertained thousands of concert-goers and established itself as one of Wales’ foremost non-professional orchestras with a loyal and talented membership.

Now well into its fourth decade, the orchestra continues to go from strength to strength in delivering a diverse and exciting repertoire to their devoted following. In addition to performing four times per season at the National Concert Hall of Wales, CPO have also performed the ever-popular A Night at the Movies concert every year since 1994, and become a firm favourite at the Welsh Proms with their Family Prom concerts since 2000.

Furthermore, they have played at other prestigious Welsh venues including the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Coal Exchange, Theatr Brycheiniog, Blackwood Miners’ Institute, Folly Farm and Llandaff Cathedral. Along the way they have rubbed shoulders with a string of celebs too including Sir Bryn Terfel, Charlotte Church, Bonnie Tyler, Sir Geraint Evans, Aled Jones and even the likes of Neil Kinnock, Brian Blessed and Sebastian Coe.

Plus, in October 2016 they were joined by Hollywood A-lister Michael Sheen who narrated the World Premiere of Bernard Kane Jr’s Mr Dahl at the Concert of the Unexpected: A Celebration of Roald Dahl. The 2016/17 was a record-breaking one for CPO too as A Night at the Movies concert last December was a complete sell-out and was the highest attendance at an orchestral concert for almost twelve years at St David’s Hall!

The orchestra are now returning to close the season in style with The Glory of Strauss & Elgar. Both composers were contemporaries and huge admirers of each other’s music, and this captivating concert presents unforgettable works by each composer.

Strauss’s Festival Prelude was written in 1913 for the inauguration of the organ in the Great Hall of Vienna’s Konzerthaus. Scored for organ and large orchestra, it provides a sensational opening work especially as the orchestra are joined by acclaimed organist, Jeffrey Howard.

Elgar’s deeply introspective, but supremely lyrical Cello Concerto, was composed in the aftermath of World War I in 1919.  It is simply one of the greatest of all cello concertos and will be performed in this concert by the gifted Neath-born soloist, Steffan Morris.

An unforgettable finale is provided by one of the most majestic of all orchestral works, Richard Strauss’s An Alpine Symphony, which takes us on a journey to the peaks of the beautiful Bavarian Alps. CPO will number over 100 players for this epic, exciting and moving piece

Conductor Michael Bell formed Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra fresh from completing his degree at university, and was keen to continue performing the music he had studied. Thirty-five years later he remains as dedicated and passionate as ever about the orchestra.

He said: “When I formed the orchestra in 1982 I assumed it was for a one-off concert but here we are 35 years and well over 300 concerts later, still going strong. This orchestra has been my life for 35 years and I’m very proud of whatever we’ve achieved together.”

PLEASE NOTE: Saturday 15 July is the rescheduled date for this concert (Friday 30 June was the original date when initially advertised).


Richard Strauss & Edward Elgar

Standard Price £5 | £8 | £10 | £16 | £22
Under 16s £5
Aged 16 – 25 £7
Friends of St David’s Hall | Students | Over 60s | Claimants £2 off top two prices
Wheelchair users plus one companion £5 each (available on single tickets only, not on Series offer)
Groups of 10 or more £1 off each ticket

Plus a Ticket Service Charge of £3.95 per transaction and an optional £1 postage fee.


To book your seats, please visit

or call the Box Office on 029 2087 8444.

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