Megan wins the Learners’ Medal in the Urdd National Eisteddfod

Professor Gerwyn Wiliams of the School of Welsh congratulating Megan on her success.Professor Gerwyn Wiliams of the School of Welsh congratulating Megan on her success.Congratulations to Megan Elias, a second year student in the School of Welsh, who yesterday won the Welsh Learners’ Medal in the Urdd National Eisteddfod held in Flint.

The competition aims to award an individual who is committed to learning Welsh and is proud of his or her Welsh identity. The Learners' Medal is awarded to an individual who shows how he or she uses the language on a daily basis at school, college or university and also in a social context.

This year, the competition was redesigned, with Welsh learners from Year 10 and under 25 years old eligible to compete. Each candidate was required to complete an application form listing their reasons for learning Welsh and the language's effect on their lives and the use they make of the language. Then, from among the applications, the successful candidates were chosen to take part in a semi-final round at Glan-llyn, where a series of tasks were assigned to them by the judges, Nia Parry and Enfys Thomas, in order to test the candidates' ability to communicate through the medium of Welsh.

Three competitors, including Megan, were chosen from the semi-final to compete in the final which was held on Tuesday in the Urdd National Eisteddfod in Flintshire, before the final winner was announced in a ceremony in the main pavillion.

This is how Megan reacted when she heard that she had reached the final round of the competition earlier this year:

“I decided to compete in the Learners' Medal at the Urdd National Eisteddfod this year because the Urdd means so much to me and a lot of people had told me that I should go for it. Reaching this far means so much to me because I will be competing on the Urdd field where I was inspired in 2014 at Bala to learn Welsh and study it at Bangor University.

“I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't visited the Urdd Eisteddfod that day, and as a result, the Urdd has changed my life completely and I am extremely proud to have reached the final of this competition.

“It's a way for me to thank and show my appreciation to everyone who has supported me over the last two years when I was learning the language, including my Welsh teachers at Ysgol Eirias, my lecturers at the School of Welsh, Bangor University, the Urdd's staff, my friends at Neuadd JMJ and everyone at home!”

Adjudicator Enfys Thomas said:

"Hannah Cook, Megan Elias and Bradley Jones – the three that reached the final round – have shown that it is possible to learn Welsh to a very high standard, and enjoy the social life that comes with talking two languages and increasing your language options.

"As adjudicators we’re confident that all three of them will inspire young people, who currently don’t speak Welsh, to follow their example.

"Deciding on the ultimate winner was a very difficult task, but Megan is a very worthy winner of the Learners’ Medal.”

Publication date: 1 June 2016