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Wrexham appoint full-time Welsh tutor to work with staff and players

21 Jun 2024 3 minute read
(From left): Steven Dale (Women and Girls Head Coach), Jamie Edwards (Head of Community), Huw Birkhead (Learn Welsh tutor) and Llinos Roberts (Head of Corporate Communications and Welsh, Coleg Cambria)

Wrexham AFC, which has helped introduce both Wrexham and Wales to a worldwide audience, is set to strengthen its ties with the Welsh language thanks to a partnership with the National Centre for Learning Welsh.

With the support of its local course provider, Coleg Cambria, the National Centre has placed a tutor, Huw Birkhead, to work full-time at the club’s STōK Cae Ras, alongside the Wrexham AFC Community Trust.

Huw has been working with staff at the clubb across a number of departments over the past season, including providing one-to-one lessons and teaching Welsh to public-facing staff. He is also supporting Wrexham AFC Women with Welsh language press and media interviews.

A free, online ten-hour taster course is being made available to fans, along with more than 1,500 free digital learning resources. The Club will also help signpost fans to the many community-based courses held in the area, which are available in both face-to-face settings and virtual classrooms.

Wrexham AFC’s co-chairmen, Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds, have already helped promote the language, with both speaking Welsh in the award-winning documentary, Welcome to Wrexham. ‘Welsh Wednesdays’ also sees Welsh-language programmes shown on the Maximum Effort TV channel in the USA, courtesy of Ryan’s marketing agency.

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney on episode 7 on their Welcome to Wrexham series: ‘The wide world of Wales.’

The club is now looking to increase the Welsh language skills of players, staff and fans by working with the Centre to deliver a range of Welsh language training.

Wrexham AFC Executive Director Humphrey Ker said: “Reinforcing the values, traditions and legacy of our community is a key facet of the club’s mission statement and the Welsh language is an important part of that.

“We’re pleased to be working with the National Centre for Learning Welsh, and our staff have showed they are keen to strengthen their Welsh Language skills and utilise this collaboration as much as possible.

“I’d like to wish a warm croeso i Wrecsam to Huw and the National Centre for Learning Welsh, and wish pob lwc to all looking to learn or strengthen their Welsh language skills.”

The collaboration is the latest in a line of sporting initiatives developed by the National Centre. It already runs a similar scheme with the Football Association of Wales (FAW), which has seen FAW Chief Executive Noel Mooney learn the language. The Centre is also working with the Wales Rugby Union to deliver Welsh language training to its staff.

Dona Lewis, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Learning Welsh, says: “The passion and enthusiasm Wrexham AFC and its owners, Rob and Ryan, have for both Wrexham and Wales is clear for all to see, and we’re delighted to support them with this new venture.

“Our bespoke learning programme will enable the Club to strengthen the Welsh language skills of players, staff and fans, creating new opportunities for people to learn and enjoy Welsh.”

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Richard Davies
Richard Davies
22 days ago

Wrecsam just gets better and better, long may it continue!

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