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Welsh learners’ success celebrated at Eisteddfod yr Urdd Maldwyn 2024

29 May 2024 4 minute read
Isabella & Melody

Medals have been awarded to Isabella Colby Browne and Melody Griffiths as the main winners of the Welsh Learners competitions at Eisteddfod yr Urdd Maldwyn 2024.

The Bobi Jones Medal (19-25 years old) was awarded to Isabella Colby Browne from Mold and the Young Learners Medal (Yr.10 and under 19) to Melody Griffiths from Wrexham.

The Bobi Jones Medal and the Learners Medal acknowledges individuals who are committed to learning Welsh and who passionately promote the Welsh language.

The candidates were given several practical tasks on the Maes today. The adjudicators for the Medals were Karina Wyn Davis and Cyril Jones.

The ceremony is sponsored by the National Centre for Learning Welsh who are also sponsoring learner’s activities on the Maes today, on the day the Urdd celebrates new Welsh speakers at the Eisteddfod.

Bobi Jones Medal

The Bobi Jones Medal is awarded to an individual aged 19-25 who demonstrates their use of the Welsh language on a day-to-day basis by answering questions about their reasons for learning the language, the impact of learning Welsh has had on their lives, and their hopes for the future.

Isabella Colby Browne, Bobi Jones Medal winner

Isabella was born in America before moving to Mold at a young age. She is 22 years old, lives in Cardiff and works as an actress. She performed Alys Hedd’s winning script in yesterday’s Main Ceremony for the Drama Medal.

She said: “I started learning Welsh almost two years ago, thanks to my best friend Caitlin, who speaks Welsh as a first language. I noticed how special it is to be Welsh, it’s such a beautiful language, and if I live here, I should speak the language. I feel it’s my responsibility to respect the language and culture of my country.

“Speaking Welsh has opened many doors for me in the world of the arts in Wales. I feel a stronger sense of identity within Wales, and I am so proud to be part of the culture and community. By learning the language, I feel that I can show respect for the people and the culture.”

Emma Grigorian from Cardiff was awarded second place, with Deryn-Bach Allen-Dyer from Bro Morgannwg in third place.

Learner’s Medal

The Learner’s Medal is awarded to a young person aged between 10 and under 19 who can demonstrate how they use the language on a day-to-day basis at school, college, or work and socially.

Melody Griffiths, Learners Medal winner

Out of 6 competitors, 17-year-old Melody Griffiths, a pupil at Coleg Cambria was awarded the top prize. The tasks included a written task to get to know the competitors better, an interview with the adjudicators and a question-and-answer session with the President of the Day, Elen Rhys, Head of S4C Entertainment.

Melody has learnt Welsh from her teachers at the college and her boyfriend’s family who speak Welsh as their first language, giving her an opportunity to practice and develop her Welsh language knowledge.

Melody said: “Since learning the language, I feel proud to be a Welsh language speaker. I use the language every day. I run a weekly Welsh learning club at college for my fellow students and do voluntary translation work in the community.

“I believe it’s important to keep the language alive, and present in our lives. It’s something I’ve had to learn, but it’s valuable. I feel that the language is a good way to connect myself with the culture, history, and everyone else in Wales.

“In the future, I hope to be a Welsh teacher, I want to inspire children and provide the same kind of Welsh opportunities that I’ve had.”

Caitlin Brunt from Newtown was awarded second place and Alex McLean from Mold in third place.

The Bobi Jones Medal is given by Menter Iaith Maldwyn, and the Welsh Learner’s is given by Powys County Council.

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