In Royal Welsh Show this year, two awards were launched to celebrate a Wales YFC member and leader that have developed their own Welsh skills or members’ Welsh skills. Two winners have now been announced as the first winners of the awards, thanks to Gwynedd Youth Services for their sponsorship and to Chris Gethin Designs for creating the lovely awards.

On Shwmae Su’mae Day 2023, it was announced that Calondid Award (translated as Encouragement Award) for a club leader that has promoted the Welsh Language within a young farmers club, goes to Olwen Jones, Beulah YFC leader in Brecknock. Sam Davies from Beulah YFC nominated Olwen for the award, emphasising that she’s turned Beulah YFC into a bilingual club but also brought the Welsh language in as a natural element on county level.

Olwen says; “Winning Calondid Award was quite a shock to be honest, I had no idea I was nominated. I’ve only been part of the movement for around five years with the eldest son eager to join Beulah YFC when he turned 10 years old. By now, three out of the four children are members and I’m one of the leaders for three years. Although the Welsh language isn’t prominent in Breckonshire, having worked in the area for 23 years by now, I know there’s a huge support for the Welsh language locally. So, offering opportunities for children and young people to use the Welsh language outside the classroom, in their communities, is very important to me.  I’m just giving the members the chance to use their Welsh naturally.”

The first Learner of the year ceremony was held in Anglesey Showground pavilion at the Wales YFC Eisteddfod, where Daisy Plews, Bodedern YFC, Ynys Môn was announced as Wales YFC’s Learner of the Year 2023. Ellena Thomas-Jones, leader of Bodedern YFC nominated Daisy for being ‘an ambassador for Welsh learners and has taken advantage of being in a Welsh community to learn more and practice her Welsh. She’s developed enormously over the year and always tried to start the conversation in Welsh.”

It was nice to see Daisy being awarded in her own county, clearly emotional and felt privileged to have won the award. “The young farmers have been a big influence, my Welsh has improved a lot since I joined, I wouldn’t be where I am without Wales YFC and Bodedern YFC and all the things I do there.”

A big thank you to two judges that went through the applications of both competitions; Roland Davies and Sam Robinson, both have learnt Welsh themselves and recognize the connection between community and the Welsh language. They both agreed that the winners’ dedication to the Welsh language and to YFC was a special one with selfless actions related to them.  It was also decided to give high recognition to Clare James from Radnor in the Learner of the year competition for her dedication to learning the Welsh language.

Nia Haf, Wales YFC’s Welsh Language Development Officer said; “The two new competitions this year are a huge step forward for Wales YFC and our dedication in supporting members to continue learning the Welsh language, but also using the Welsh language within the movement; in various competitions or in natural conversations at events. It was important that we recognize the work of club leaders in promoting the Welsh language, as influence at club and county level is so important! We are also proud of our recent development on the Wales YFC Instagram – Cwis Cymraeg Quiz, which includes terms on various suitable themes on a weekly basis, it’s nice to see that good numbers are taking part.

Congratulations again to Daisy and Olwen on their success, I look forward to seeing the competition develop with the support of the two as ambassadors, to see how we can develop the relationship with Welsh learners.”