A new partnership between the Football Association of Wales and the National Centre for Learning Welsh will strengthen Welsh skills among players and staff, and increase opportunities to learn and enjoy the language at a grass roots level.
As part of the partnership, the National Centre will develop a bespoke learning programme for the Cymru squad and support staff, which will deliver language training at different levels, from beginners to confidence-building.
A new, 10-hour online self-study course will be among the resources made available to local teams and coaches, along with Cymru’ fans world-wide. Tailored for the football and sporting world, the course introduces everyday words and phrases.
The FAW will signpost fans to the National Centre’s courses, which include face-to-face, community-based learning and virtual classrooms. Free access to 1,500 digital learning resources, along with a language awareness package, is also part of the partnership.
A free, virtual taster session, held by the National Centre at 7.00pm on 10 November, will kick off the new partnership.
A digital campaign, ‘Our Team, Our Language’, supported by the FAW and coinciding with the FIFA World Cup, will help drive recruitment to new beginners’ courses starting in January. Other digital resources, including football-themed activities for families, are available at learnwelsh.cymru
The FAW has welcomed the partnership, with Chief Executive Noel Mooney among the first to sign up for Welsh language training.
Noel Mooney says: “Cymraeg is a big part of our footballing culture and at Cymru games, both home and away, you’ll hear Cymraeg all around you. As we look forward to the World Cup in Qatar, we know that Cymraeg belongs to us all, and we want to build on our passion for the language, both on and off the pitch.
“This new partnership gives us a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our own Welsh language skills and gain confidence to use and enjoy the language even more. I’ve already started learning on Duolingo, and am looking forward to taking my Cymraeg language skills to the next level!”
The Welsh Government Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles MS, adds: “It is fantastic to see the way in which the FAW is promoting and celebrating the Welsh language, raising the profile of Cymraeg, both home and away.
“We all share a common goal – to see the Welsh language thriving in communities across Wales – and this new partnership is another step towards realising that ambition.”
Efa Gruffudd Jones, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Learning Welsh, adds: “Community, friendship and inclusivity are common values shared by both the FAW and the National Centre.
“All are welcome to learn and enjoy Cymraeg, and by working in partnership with the FAW we hope to reach new audiences, while also building support for the Cymru national team among our vibrant community of Welsh learners.”
S4C appoints Cymraeg Strategy Leader
S4C is working in partnership with the FAW and the National Centre for Learning Welsh as the broadcaster rolls out its new strategy to engage with a wider and more diverse audience and to make Welsh language content accessible to all viewers.
S4C has also appointed a Welsh learner to a key role to enhance its commitment to new Welsh speakers. In this brand new post as Cymraeg Strategy Leader, Sara Peacock, originally from Oxford, will be responsible for growing some of the S4C brands for Welsh learners.
Sara will work closely with the National Centre and other stakeholders to develop attractive, original multi-platform content for learners. S4C is also working in partnership with the FAW to develop content around the World Cup, suitable for a range of audiences, with increasing use of sub-titles in English and Welsh making the exciting slate of content accessible for a broader audience.
Siân Doyle, S4C Chief Executive, says: “One of S4C’s priorities is to welcome and support new Welsh speakers. Our partnership with the National Centre for Learning Welsh plays a key role in this aim.
“As the only free-to-air broadcaster for the men’s World Cup qualifying fixtures we’ve shared the journey of the team to Qatar with Welsh fans and have loved the way the FAW has embraced the language and brought Cymraeg to supporters along the way. Football is an international language that brings us all together and is vitally important in bringing fans to S4C to hear the language and to enjoy our passionate and unrivalled coverage of our national team.
“At S4C, we’re totally committed to welcoming and supporting new Welsh speakers. We’re delighted Sara is joining us to spearhead this important work.”