A trip to North Wales for the A-level Crew

Coleg y Cymoedd strives to offer invaluable opportunities to its learners during their time at the College. At the beginning of November, the A Level Welsh Second Language group from Coleg y Cymoedd traveled to the Urdd Centre at Glan-llyn near Bala for a residential A Level Welsh course. The course was organized by the Urdd and the School of Welsh, Bangor University. College students’ places on the trip were paid for by a Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol grant to promote the Welsh language as a subject. Two students studying AS Level in Welsh at our A Level Center in Nantgarw went on the two day trip.

There were a number of sessions that were relevant to the syllabus such as a session on discussing poems, the oral exam, the history of the Welsh language and the elements of the language. But it wasn’t all work. There was also the opportunity to take part in amazing outdoor activities such as canoeing, a ropes course and archery. There was also the opportunity to experience a bit of Welsh culture in the evening with a special gig with singer Gwilym Bowen Rhys.

One of the students, Katlyn Evans, said

“I enjoyed how the trip was packed with informational activities that is going to help me massively with learning the language. But not only that, I loved having an insight on what it would be like to be bilingual, as all my life I’ve just spoken English and likewise learnt in English but there I spoke and learnt in Welsh.”

Welsh Language Manager, Lois Roberts added, “Thank you very much to the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol for the sponsorship and to the Urdd and Ysgol y Gymraeg, Bangor University for organizing. The trip was a great success. It was a huge eye opener for our students. They had the opportunity to use the language for the first time ever outside of the classroom. As well as learning things that will help to succeed in the course, it also showed that the Welsh language can be something social and fun!”

A chat with Merched y Wawr Merthyr

Coleg y Cymoedd welcomes opportunities to develop links with local communities and links through the medium of Welsh. So the Welsh Language Team jumped at the chance to visit Merched y Wawr Merthyr to talk about the work of the College and to meet the members.

Merched y Wawr is a patriotic organization that offers women the opportunity to socialize in Welsh in clubs across Wales. They also campaign for the rights of the Welsh language and women’s rights. Merched y Wawr was founded in 1967 and now there are over 280 branches and clubs all over Wales. One of those lively clubs is Merched y Wawr Merthyr which meets every month at Canolfan Soar which is the town’s Welsh Language Centre.

On 9 November, Lois Roberts, Coleg y Cymoedd’s Welsh Language Manager, visited the group. After a short presentation over a cup of tea discussing her work at the College, giving information about the college and the opportunities available to people of all ages, in Welsh and English, she proceeded to hold an epic quiz with the crew .

As a way of thanking the College, Hannah Lowe, the branch’s treasurer, presented Lois with a cheque for £25 as a donation. The money will be given to a charity that the College has worked closely with recently, ‘The Wild and Free Foundation. The aim of the charity is to empower communities living around the national parks and wildlife reserves in Africa, by creating sporting and economic opportunities, to reduce their dependence on rhino poaching and African wildlife. The College’s School of Creative Industries collaborated with the charity to create a giant rhino as a mascot to encourage young men to turn to football rather than poaching. This money will go towards funding the amazing work they do.

Lois Roberts said, “We had lots of fun trying to guess the name of the town while looking at pictures of high streets, thinking of answers starting with ‘m’ and guessing how many times Americans open a fridge in an average day! ! The winners were ‘Tîm Tydful’ but I hope everyone left with a big smile on their faces. Thank you Merched y Wawr Merthyr!”

Coleg y Cymoedd coach heads to Qatar for the World Cup with the BBC

Coleg y Cymoedd’s very own female football academy coach, Kathryn Morgan, is in Qatar this month to commentate on the Welsh games at this year’s FIFA World Cup alongside the BBC.

Kathryn Morgan, who had a successful career as a professional female footballer before joining the college, will be working for BBC Radio Cymru and Radio Wales as part of the broadcaster’s coverage of the Welsh matches this November.

She will join the likes of Nathan Blake, Iwan Roberts, Danny Gabbidon and Neil Taylor in Qatar for three weeks during Wales’ first qualifying matches – the country’s first appearance in the World Cup since 1958 – delivering news bulletins and leading a Q&A podcast with the Football Association of Wales (FAW).

A former international player, Kathryn represented several teams during her 15-year footballing career including Inter Cardiff (now Cardiff City), Barry Town, Bristol Rovers, and the Welsh national women’s team, becoming the first female footballer in Wales to secure 50 caps.

After attending the 2016 World Cup in France, she was invited by BBC Radio Cymru to join the channel as a pundit, offering commentary on the competition. Since then, she has commentated on several national games and worked with BBC Radio Wales on several occasions, before being approached to join the team in Qatar.

Kathryn said: “I was on holiday when I received a phone call from the BBC asking me if I was free in November. They told me to write ‘in Qatar’ in my diary and I just couldn’t believe it. I never thought something like this would happen to me and I’m still pinching myself that I’m even going – excited isn’t even the word!”

From a young age, Kathryn was determined to play football and at seven years old, she persuaded boys in the playground to let her join them after watching and practising their techniques. Her passion became a profession when she joined Inter Cardiff Women’s team at 17, kickstarting her career.

“I had a late start playing club football, mainly because I was a girl and it wasn’t as easy to play to the standard it is now ,” Kathryn said, “but I remember seeing an advertisement in the first ever issue of Wales on Sunday, calling out players for the Inter Cardiff Wales women’s team, now Cardiff City Women’s, and I knew I had to go for it.”

Following her stint as a footballer, Kathryn moved into education and taught at Ysgol y Cymer, Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni and Ysgol Gyfun Garth Olwg as a PE teacher for a sum of 20 years before taking her professional experience to the then brand-new women’s football academy at Coleg y Cymoedd as a coach in 2018. At the college, she is responsible for carrying out field and gym coaching for the female team, alongside teaching practical analysis.  

She added: “I have lived and breathed football for as long as I can remember and always wanted a career within it, despite growing up at a time when it wasn’t easy to be a woman and a footballer. I love teaching, I am happy to invest all my time into those that want to learn, have a good attitude, and want to be coached.

“I could only have dreamed of being part of a women’s football academy when I was a teenager, and the fact that I am now able to provide that coaching and mentorship myself, with everything I have learnt over the years, to the next generation feels so full circle. It’s incredible to see how much things have progressed for women’s football. “I’m grateful for where my career has taken me and the experiences, like Qatar, that I get to be part of everyday.”

Coleg y Cymoedd learners compete in climate change debate

Learners at Coleg y Cymoedd have played their part in tackling the climate emergency after coming together with tens of young people from across Wales to take part in a national conference aimed at exploring global environmental issues.

Six learners from the college took part in this year’s Mock Cop climate conference, joining learners from over schools and colleges from across the country to take part in the Welsh event at the national assembly in Cardiff.

Run jointly by Size of Wales and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA), MockCOP, which is modelled on the UN Climate Change COP talks, brings together young people aged 14-18 with scientists, economists and business leaders to discuss and debate climate change issues.

Learners are split into teams, each representing a different country from around the world, which they must research before presenting the environmental challenges they face as well as their proposed solutions to tackle them.

Liberty Lee, Meadow Jackson, Matthew MacPhail, Seth Olner, Taya Hodges and Lilia Simonov, who are all part of Coleg y Cymoedd’s debating society, attended the event on behalf of Coleg y Cymoedd, with the learners split across two teams representing Canada and the Phillipines.

As with the real conference, teams had to put forward proposals and negotiate with other countries to achieve the ultimate goal of getting them to commit to their pledges and sign a treaty.

The interactive event is designed to improve learners’ knowledge of the UN and its annual climate change talks, as well as enable them to develop a better understanding of other nations and cultures by acting as them throughout.

Lilia Simonov, learner who took part said ““The MockCOP event was a fantastic opportunity to discuss the climate issues that the world is facing. It also provided the opportunity to understand how interconnected perspective, socio-economic status and politics are when dealing with climate change issues. Especially when considering links to things like gender inequality, which was a big focus and heavily discussed.

At the MockCOP, Coleg Y Cymoedd had two teams representing The Philippines and Canada. As one of the representatives for The Philippines we had the opportunity to represent a country that is impacted greatly by climate change. Being able to use our voices to express these concerns and discuss possible amendments with other countries during negotiations was great. It really demonstrated how everyone at the event was very likeminded in understanding that climate is an issue. And that the United Nations need to tackle these issues as a priority. Overall the event gave us all the opportunity to develop our confidence and public speaking skills. While allowing us to discuss topics with passion that displayed the need for change.”

Holly Richards, MAT Coordinator at Coleg y Cymoedd said: “The MockCOP competition offers young people a great opportunity to develop their debating skills and learn more about important global issues. The conference encourages young people to be more engaged with climate change and political issues while motivating them to consider the responsibility of Wales, both locally and globally.

“I was incredibly proud of our learners who did an incredible job representing the college. They showed an impressive passion for the subject and presented strong and convincing arguments which led to them securing backing for their proposals.”

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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