FORMER Newport Gwent Dragon and Monmouth School pupil Richard Parks is one of four new appointments to the board of Sport Wales, it was announced.

The Minister for Natural Resources, Culture and Sport, John Griffiths, revealed the names of the four new board members who will start in September.

Now an extreme environment athlete, former international rugby union player Mr Parks was forced to retire from rugby aged just 31 after a shoulder injury.

Despite his injury, in 2011 he became the first man to climb the highest mountain on each seven continents and stand on all three poles in seven months.

Mr Parks also now works with many schools and colleges across the UK, commercial organisations and is an honorary lecturer at the University of South Wales.

Mr Griffiths said: “I am delighted to announce these appointments to the board of Sport Wales, at a time when sport in Wales is riding high following the Commonwealth Games.”

Also appointed are former women’s Welsh rugby player, Amanda Bennett, social housing and former NHS worker, Andrew Lycett, and 2013’s Community Coach of the Year, Samar Wafa.

Mr Griffiths said: “All four of the appointees bring with them an impressive range of skills and experiences from a diverse range of backgrounds, adding to, and enhancing the current board.

““It is particularly pleasing to appoint a diverse group of people to the board, with very different sporting interests. This reflects the wide variety of options available for physical activity that people can choose from and highlights Sport Wales’ main objective of creating a healthier, more active Wales.”