Amnesty International supports the Urdds public speakers

For the first time, Amnesty International is working with the Urdd National Eisteddfod supporting the public speaking competitions on the maes.  The grand finale of the ‘siarad cyhoeddus’ public speaking competitions, will be held today, Friday 8 June 2012 at the Annedd Wen pavilion on the Urdd National Eisteddfod maes at Glynllifon near Caernarfon, Gwynedd. 

Following weeks travelling the width and breadth of Wales listening to competitors, environmentalist and broadcaster, Dei Tomos, will reach the culmination of his duties as Judge for the Urdd’s public speaking competition today, a role he has thoroughly enjoyed. 

In the final of the year 10 to 19 years of age competition group, three teams will battle for the top prize: Ysgol y Preseli, Crymych, Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy, Llanrwst and Ysgol Brynrefail, Llanrug.

In the older age group, 14 to 25 years category, three Aelwydydd will compete for the honour, Aelwyd Pantycelyn, Aberystwyth; Aelwyd Hafodwenog, Carmarthen and Aelwyd Coleg Meirion Dwyfor, Pwllheli. 

The teams have been given a variety of subjects to discuss as part of the preliminary rounds of competition.  Questions include: small schools are a bane on the education system, discuss; it is acceptable for Welsh athletes to compete for the UK at the Olympics, discuss; nuclear is the only viable source of creating energy in the UK, discuss; alcohol consumption is at its highest level, with youngsters now going out to drink heavily rather than socialising and enjoying, discuss. 

Both winning teams will be given the opportunity to visit Amnesty International headquarters in London as part of their prize. 

Amnesty International is a campaigning membership-based organisation and its main purpose is to protect people wherever justice, fairness, freedom and truth are denied.  The organisation has a Welsh base in Cardiff. 

Patrick Corrigan, of Amnesty International, speaking from the Eisteddfod site, said: “We are excited to be supporting so many young people in a celebration of freedom of speech, a right denied to millions around the world. Our work will continue in the year ahead as we make available some brilliant human rights education resources, in both Welsh and English, for use in schools throughout Wales.”

Aled Siôn, Urdd National Eisteddfod Director said: “We are pleased that an organisation like Amnesty is working with us, and offering young people the opportunity to learn more about their work.  We are grateful for their support and to the adjudicator, Dei Tomos for his commitment.  We look forward to hearing the competitors sharing their perspective, their debate and persuading the audience of their views in the final round today.” 

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