The new President of Urdd Gobaith Cymru has described her appointment as a “dream come true.”
Mared Edwards, a student at Aberystwyth University, from Porth Swtan, Anglesey, will take the helm of Wales’ largest youth organisation for the next two years.
During her school years, she was the Ambassador for the Urdd in Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern and Chair of the Anglesey Youth Forum, before being elected Vice-Chair of Bwrdd Syr IfanC (the Urdd’s National Youth Forum) in 2018.
She also held a part-time job as a Urdd Youth Officer in Ceredigion whilst studying Welsh and Drama at university, before the pandemic brought the work to a halt.
She said: “Being President of the Urdd has been an ambition for some years now, so this is a dream come true.
“The Urdd has and continues to play a vital role in my life. It has offered me endless opportunities, from performing and competing in the eisteddfod and various sports competitions to invaluable work experiences, including staffing trips to the Urdd’s residential centres, and Paris.
“I had the opportunity to be part of the Les Miserables cast in 2015, travel to the Pan Celtic Festival in Ireland and was also chosen to be one of 25 young people from Wales to travel with the Urdd on a special journey to Patagonia in 2017. I am very indebted to the Urdd as an organisation.”
Mared takes over the Presidency from Ethan Williams from Beddau near Pontypridd.
She said: “I can’t thank Ethan enough for all his hard work over the last two years.
“He has included me in every decision during his Presidency, which will in turn help me take the lead.
“I’m excited to see what lies ahead over the next two years – this is the perfect opportunity for me to give back to the Urdd.
“I intend on ensuring that the children and young people of Wales feel a sense of ownership towards the Welsh language and its traditions through their involvement with the Urdd and help the organisation reach new audiences.
“The Urdd’s international projects ensure that young Welsh voices are heard in the global conversation. It will be a pleasure to help extend the reach and impact of the Urdd’s work on the threshold of its centennial year.”
Dyfrig Davies, Chair of Urdd Gobaith Cymru said: “The Urdd is very pleased to have Mared take over this important role of Presidency.
“We also thank Ethan for all his work – from encouraging 16- and 17-year-olds to register to vote, to organising gigs and discussing climate change, his contribution has been invaluable.
“This public-facing role offers an opportunity for young people to form the Urdd’s future as an organisation. With the centenary on the horizon, there is plenty for Mared to achieve over the next few years.”