Robyn Jones is director of rugby at Wymondham College, a large state boarding school in Norfolk.
What school (s) did you go to?
I went to a very good state school in a Welsh town called Dwr-Y-Felin School. A lot of great sports people have come through Dwr-Y-Felin and having seen them develop there was a truly aspirational situation.
What’s your earliest sporting memory?
I remember primary school sports days at Cilfrew Primary School. I was pretty quick back then and I won my year group 100 metres in three out of my four junior school years. I also remember when I first started playing rugby with Crynant RFC with a friend of mine whose dad took us. I scored a try on my first ever game and ran the full length of the pitch to finish it off.
Who were your sporting heroes growing up?
Growing up I absolutely loved Gary Lineker. The man was and still is the utmost professional. As a footballer he was polite, well-mannered and a great goal scorer. The fact that he only ever got carded once in his entire career just sums him up. As I became older and got more in to rugby I just was mesmerised by Jonny Wilkinson. A great player, a genuine gentleman and also the epitome of hard work. If you could put his work ethos into students then you would have some great young sports people in the UK.
What is your best sporting memory of school?
It was scoring a winning try against Christ College Brecon when I was 16. I ended up out on the wing and with the game being very tight, to finish off a try and win a match against a very strong rugby school was a proud moment.
What is your best sporting memory of school?
It would be losing 80-0 against a very strong Millfield School team when we were in year 8. An awful rugby experience followed by a great plate of food and a revolving plate collector. Not something I had ever seen before.
Can you recall a memorable sporting teacher?
My PE Teacher Nigel Hanney was an absolute legend. I did get back in touch with him about five years ago. He was funny, very good at what he did, and always approachable. He was also my head of year and I don’t think I have met a better PE teacher.
What sports do you play these days?
I had to give up rugby at 27 due to tearing my ACL and medial meniscus cartilage. It took me quite a while to get back to any form of fitness after my operation and I would advise anyone who has this operation to get good physiotherapy afterwards. I took up cycling in 2012 and started doing it competitively. I managed to get quite a few top then places in competitive races and that really ignited my thirst for competition against others.
In what other ways do you stay healthy?
I usually cycle 40 miles into and out of work two or three times a week. I also run several spinning classes at school for staff and students and try to run on the odd occasion. I love good food and do try to eat as healthy as I possibly can.
What is your favourite sporting memory?
My favourite sporting moment was competing against Mo Farah in a Reebok Cross Challenge in Bute Park, Cardiff when I was 17. Me and a few of my mates who ran all knew who he was as we all used to read Athletics Weekly and, looking back now, to say you ran in a race with a runner of that pedigree is a very proud moment. I even have a copy of the results sheet in my scrap book.
What’s been your most embarrassing sporting moment?
When I was 17 and was competing in my county championship for athletics I was running in the steeplechase as a chance to get to the Welsh Schools Athletics Championships and I stacked it over a barrier on the corner where the 300m marker is. Quite a lot of my mates saw me and they thought it was funny. I did get up and carry on running.
What’s your biggest sporting bugbear?
It’s the constant appealing of people to the referee. It has always been in football but is slowly creeping into rugby, even at the top end. The officials are there to make decisions, whether right or wrong, so leave them to make the decision.
When was the last time you cried at a sporting event?
Weirdly, when Gareth Bale scored against Slovakia in the Euros this summer I had a bit of a cry. I was quite overawed by the enormity of what he had achieved in a major tournament with Wales being such a small footballing nation.
Which three sports people would you like to have around for dinner and why?
James Cracknell as he is a driven determined man who is an extremely talented endurance specialist. I would also choose Bradley Wiggins as he is very similar to Cracknell but has had a similar upbringing to myself. Thirdly I would have to say James Toseland. I saw him on the BBC programme Natural Born Winners and he was a very likeable man who was also talented at any sport he put his hand to.
MY SPORTING LIFE