Coleg y Cymoedd crowned Champions in Inter-college Skills competition

Two South Wales Further Education colleges have gone head to head in an inter-college Skills competition, which took place at Coleg y Cymoedd’s Aberdare campus.

Both Coleg y Cymoedd and Coleg Gwent offer academic and vocational courses across a full range of subject areas; this competition, now in its third year concentrated on their Hair, Beauty, Electrical, Plumbing and Catering learners. The introduction of Catering into the competition resulted in over eighty learners participating.

Throughout the competition the salons were a hive of activity with the learners producing some amazing styles in the hair competition; alongside the beauty learners who were tasked with providing a variety of treatments.

This year’s panel of judges included Dave Bassett and Dean Poole, both HTA Hairdressing judges and Sara Tutton, retired Campus Director who has over 40 years of experience in Education and the Hair & Beauty industry.

Coleg y Cymoedd secured 1st place in the Level 1 & 2 Hair competition and had a clean sweep in the Level 1 Beauty competition winning 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. The college is grateful to Capitol Hair & Beauty and Dermalogica for their sponsorship of the competition

The Catering learners were tasked with cutting and preparing various fruit and vegetables, planning and cooking a full meal as well as napkin folding and serving. 

The competition was intense with Cymoedd learners achieving 1st and 2nd places. Overseeing the Catering challenge were Mark Cox, Group Manager for Chartwells Catering, who kindly donated the prizes for this category and David Harland, retired lecturer at Coleg y Cymoedd who has over forty years of experience, as a Chef and lecturer in Further Education.

There was a definite buzz in the construction workshops as the Electrical and Plumbing learners went head to head.

The electrical learners were given the task of constructing a commercial lighting circuit and a domestic power circuit with points awarded for accuracy, termination quality and functionality. The Cymoedd learners put their skills into practice taking 3rd position. This competition was judged by retired Cymoedd lecturer, Paul Meyer who has a wealth of experience in the Electrical Installations industry.

With a brief to construct a pipework system using different materials, bends and angles, the Plumbing learners set about their task. Judges for this competition, Steve Williams and Tim Strickland from sponsors – Dougfield Plumbers Supplies kept a watchful eye over the learners during the competition ensuring the system was watertight, when tested. Cymoedd learners were awarded 3rd position.

Closing the day’s event, Mark Thomas, Campus Director for the Aberdare campus said “I would like to thank the staff from both colleges for their commitment and hard work to ensure the competition was a success.  The judges for doing a fabulous job, without their expertise the competition would not have run smoothly, the sponsors for their generous donations and last but not least our learners and our visitors from Coleg Gwent, who participated.

I am delighted that Coleg y Cymoedd were crowned champions for the first time in this competition.  With this success behind us we are already looking forward to next year’s competition which will be held at Coleg Gwent”.

Cymoedd learners crowned British Colleges Rugby Union Champions……. again

Coleg y Cymoedd’s learners and staff are celebrating as their college’s under 18’s Squad triumphed in their match against Seevic Storm Rugby Academy, to be crowned British Colleges Rugby Union Champions.

Cymoedd supporters travelled on mass to Moseley RFC, Birmingham for the final and were not disappointed; as the strong squad romped home to secure a thundering 75 – 14 win.

In a lively game, supporters of both teams witnessed some outstanding rugby before Coleg y Cymoedd stretched their lead to give their opponents Seevic no chance of recovery.

This marks Cymoedd’s fourth consecutive victory in this competition.  

Commenting on the win and the outstanding performance of the squad to date, Lee Davies, Acting Director of Rugby at Coleg y Cymoedd, said:

“Yet again, this year’s success highlights the quality and high standard of the Rugby squad at Cymoedd and we’re delighted to have retained this prestigious title against a strong Seevic team”. The boys’ commitment and preparation leading up to this match has been outstanding, demonstrating some exceptional phases of play throughout the match”.

Cymoedd’s Rugby Academy provides the boys with expert rugby tuition, rugby analysis and strength & conditioning to help maximise their rugby potential; whilst ensuring that they are prepared academically, should a career in rugby not materialise.

Judith Evans, Principal said, We are thrilled with the successful result of the match and a huge congratulations to the squad, coaches and all involved. We are delighted that the programme is delivering success on the field and with their academic studies”.

Female college students kick off national football careers with help of leading Welsh institution

Four ambitious college learner have been given the opportunity of a lifetime to represent their country in women’s football and play alongside her idols thanks to a leading Welsh college’s football academy.

Ffion Morgan, Gwen Davies, Shaunna Jenkins and Hannah Miles are all learners at Coleg y Cymoedd who have been selected to play for Wales’ national women’s football squads.

Ffion from Carmarthen, aged just 16, is one of the learners who has represented Wales in both its under 19s team and senior squad, playing alongside her idol Jess Fishlock, after making the jump and moving to South Wales alone to pursue a career in sport.

The aspiring star, who is currently studying a BTEC in Sport Level 3 at Coleg y Cymoedd, swapped her hometown in West Wales for Ystrad Mynach to train at the renowned sports centre and chase her footballing aspirations.

Living at a host house near the campus during the week, the teenager is part of the college’s elite female football academy, set up in conjunction with the Football Association of Wales (FAW) to provide girls from all over Wales with the opportunity to combine daily coaching sessions, intensive training and weekly games with full time study.

Ffion is now calling on other young women to consider representing their country on a national level in sport and to realise that furthering your education and following sporting dreams at the same time is possible. The rising star hopes to dispel misconceptions that football isn’t feminine and inspire more women to take up sport on a professional level.

She said: “I’ve often found myself as the only girl on a team, but this has made me feel really proud because I know that I’m representing so many more girls. For any students out there who love a particular sport and have the opportunity to give it a go professionally, I’d say go for it. There is nothing better than playing for your country and, if you are passionate and work hard, there is no reason why you can’t achieve your goals.”

From a young age, Ffion has been passionate about sport and football, having originally joined a local boys’ team as an outlet for her endless energy. Being the only girl on the team didn’t faze her and it wasn’t long before she impressed and was picked up by the Ammanford Girls’ football team.

At 15, Ffion signed to Bristol’s team – a move which saw her regularly travelling across the country and leaving lessons early to play. This prompted her to pursue her passion professionally by joining the Coleg y Cymoedd, which is widely considered to be the best place for female footballers hoping to play nationally thanks to its partnership with the FAW.

Ffion said: “Coming to college was the best option for me to develop my career. The course I am studying is great because it covers a range of sports, with a particular focus on football, and includes analysis work, practical advice and plenty of physical training. The academy and college course has helped me to grow as person both on and off the pitch, identifying my strengths, improving my technique and building my overall professionalism.  The training I have received has also really improved my football, helping me to play better against girls at my standard and those at a higher level.”

Ffion has now gone on to play for Wales’ senior squad alongside her idol Jess Fishlock, even achieving her first cap in the game where Jess achieved her hundredth.

She said: “Growing up, Jess Fishlock was my main role model and so playing next to her on the pitch has been absolutely amazing. It’s a surreal experience performing alongside the very person who inspired you to start in the first place. It’s motivated me to want to be the best of best and I’d love for young players joining the team to come in and look up to me in the same way I looked up to her.”

Ffion maintains that while balancing academic study and professional learning with her professional football training can be difficult, it is possible with the right support. She added: “I am very fortunate as the college where I am studying has been very supportive with my football career, adjusting deadlines when I’ve been away with the squad and providing we with advice and support when I’ve needed it. This has enabled me to pursue my ambitions without compromising my education which I would have really struggled to do otherwise.

Judith Evans, Principal at Coleg y Cymoedd said: “We have many very talented learners at the college who are hoping to pursue sports alongside their studies and we aim to support them to do so regardless of what course they may be on. We believe that there should be no barriers to our learners’ ambitions and achievements, and to see such an inspiring success stories such as Ffion, who is one of four Coleg y Cymoedd learners to have been selected for the Wales team, reinforces why.”

Cymoedd young entrepreneurs secure Silver at Skills competition

Two young entrepreneurs studying at Coleg y Cymoedd recently secured ‘Silver’ award in the first Skills Competition Wales Enterprise competition, which took place at NPTC LLandarcy Academy.

Although Elinor Brewer, studying Counselling and Lee Thomas Vowles of Creative Industries are both members of the college’s Edge Network, this was the first occasion they had worked together.

The two learners competed against learners from Neath Port Talbot College, The College, Merthyr Tydfil and Coleg Cambria and despite being a team of only two, they demonstrated business acumen and confidence for their idea covering support for families with mental health issues.

Both learners run their own businesses whilst studying at Coleg y Cymoedd and are examples of what can be achieved if you follow your passion with determination!

Aberdare

Wellington Street
Aberdare
Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF44 8EN

Nantgarw

Heol y Coleg
Parc Nantgarw
Cardiff
CF15 7QY

Rhondda

Llwynypia
Tonypandy
Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF40 2TQ

Ystrad Mynach

Twyn Road
Ystrad Mynach
Hengoed
CF82 7XR

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