The first Annual Prize Evening Ceremony of Coleg y Cymoedd took place at the Nantgarw Campus on Tuesday 9 September 2014.
Principal Judith Evans welcomed the audience, stating the first Award ceremony of Coleg y Cymoedd was an important landmark in the success of the college, as well as the learners being awarded. With over 11,000 learners Ms Evans went on to congratulate the 50 learners who had been nominated by their tutors for their achievements and also thanked family and tutors who have helped them this year.
Coleg y Cymoeddâ€™s Chair of the Corporation, Mrs Liz James gave an overview of the role of the Governing Body at the college and the pride and satisfaction that she and her fellow governors take from the achievements of all itsâ€™ learners. The learners and their guests were greeted by Hospitality & Catering learners, offering mouth-watering canapÃ©s and refreshments.
Members of the Senior Management Team introduced the winners who received awards from a wide range of subjects; with additional Awards presented to those learners who had made a significant contribution to the Welsh Language throughout the year. The awards were presented by Suzy Drane, Captain of Welsh Netball whom the college had sponsored for the season.
The two final Overall College Awards were presented to Christopher Rhys Thomas who had studied on the BTEC Level 2 Diploma in IT, gaining a distinction grade in every module. Christopher had overcome many barriers to achieve these results and had also been an active and extremely supportive member of his course.
Shannon Britton also received an Overall Award for her outstanding achievement. In just nine months Shannon achieved the remarkable grades of A* English, A* Law and A History, securing her a place at Oxford to read English.
Addressing the audience Suzy thanked the college for their sponsorship throughout the year and for the invitation to speak at this yearâ€™s Prize Evening. She spoke about her journey from a young netball player to her current position as Captain of the Team during the recent Commonwealth games in Glasgow; sharing some of the â€˜highs and lowsâ€™ and the training leading up to it. She emphasised the importance of the support of friends and families, whether it be in sport or education and hoped that one day she may meet some of the learners at Cardiff Metropolitan, where she now lectures.
Learners from the Performing Arts department played key roles in the ceremony; James Owen was compere for the evening and led the bi-lingual programme in a very professional manner. Fellow learner Arwel Harries raised the roof and had the audience in tears with a strong rendition of ‘Stars’ which you could expect on the stage at any major musical theatre.
Closing the evening the Principal thanked the learners and their guests and all who had made the evening a success, she said â€œEvenings such as this reinforce why we are here and the important role we have to play in the future of our learners. We have a wealth of talent throughout the County Boroughs and I hope that Coleg y Cymoedd has helped to set you off on a learning journey. We wish you good luck for your future, whether it be continuing your studies at Coleg y Cymoedd, progressing to university or in employmentâ€.
Photograph: Kirstie Wilkinson
Rhondda Cynon Taff