FA Wales support youngsters’ call for Welsh language video game options
FA Wales Officers including Noel Mooney and Ian Gwyn Hughes have added their support to a campaign to secure Welsh as a language option on EA Sports games.
During a workshop with Casi Wyn, the previous Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh Language Children’s Laureate of Wales), Year 6 pupils from Ysgol Pontyberem created a letter calling on EA to add a Welsh-language option.
Their letter emphasised Article 30 in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which states that every child has the right to use their own language.
Status and confidence
At a special event held at Swansea.com Stadium on Tuesday 5 December, some of the most influential individuals within Welsh football came to listen to the pupils presenting their case.
Guests included Steve Williams, FAW President; Will Lloyd Williams, Vice President; Noel Mooney, Chief Executive Officer of FAW, Gemma Lewis, Women and Girls’ Pathway Manager, Dr David Adams, Chief Football Officer, Ian Gwyn Hughes, Head of Public Relations, and Helen Antoniazzi, Head of Public Affairs.
EA Sports’ FC game (previously FIFA) is amongst the most popular video game in the world. With over 325 million copies sold, it is available in over 51 countries and 18 languages. However, it is not possible to play through the medium of Welsh.
Noel Mooney, Chief Executive Officer at FA Wales, who is learning Welsh, greeted the children in their mother tongue. He said “it is important”, and that “we, the Football Association of Wales, support you. Thank you, thank you.”
The young people’s passion had an impact on Ian Gwyn Hughes, who stated that the Welsh-language should be “alive – a modern, every day, confident, young language that everyone can enjoy outside the school.” He went on to say “We all know that football is the most popular sport in the world. This addition to one of the most famous football games would give more status and confidence to the language and everyone who speaks it, and could sustain its growth for the future. Because you are the future. And it is fantastic to see this message from young people. All of us at the Football Association of Wales are grateful for the work you have done and for the passion you feel for the matter.”
Bardd y Plant Cymru scheme
Pupils read from the letter to an audience of Senedd Members and representatives of national organisations in the Senedd at an event to celebrate the Bardd Plant Cymru scheme in the summer. They were then invited by FA Wales to present their case for some of their officers before the Wales V Germany international women’s match held at Swansea.com stadium on Tuesday 5 December.
Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh-language Children’s Laureate) is a national ambassadorial role awarded every two years which aims to inspire and empower children and young people across Wales through literature.
A key element of the work is to listen to children and young people and see what and offer a creative way for them to share their voices, as well as advocating on their behalf.
Claire Furlong, Executive Director at Literature Wales said: “The Bardd Plant Cymru scheme aims to empower children and young people to use their Welsh creatively and find confidence in their own voices.”
“I’m so proud of the children from Ysgol Pontyberem who used their workshops with the Bardd Plant Cymru, Casi Wyn, to call for a change about this issue that is so important to them. We are delighted to work with the FAW to give the pupils a platform to share their letter with the world and look forward to seeing the campaign develop.”
Further information about the Bardd Plant Cymru project is available on the Literature Wales website.
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