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Urdd Gobaith Cymru celebrates its centenary

(Image: Gwalia)

On 25 January 2022 the centenary celebrations for Cymru's largest youth organisation begin officially with the biggest birthday party in the Urdd’s history, and an official Guinness World Records™ title attempt.

At 10:30, a virtual Zoom party will be held in the company of Stwnsh Sadwrn TV presenters, mascot Mistar Urdd, musician Mei Gwynedd and will also be broadcast live on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru. The Urdd and the entire nation will then attempt an official Guinness World Records™ title by uploading as many videos as possible of individuals, groups and families singing a shortened version of the iconic song, Hei Mistar Urdd, on Twitter and Facebook between 10:45 and 11:45. Over 80,000 have registered to take part in the celebrations on the day, from schools to charities and community groups.

Exactly 100 years ago, in an article in Cymru’r Plant magazine, Syr Ifan ab Owen Edwards (the Urdd’s founder) asked the children of Cymru to join a new movement called ‘Urdd Gobaith Cymru Fach’, as he did not feel there were enough opportunities for them to use the Welsh language.

Siân Lewis, Chief Executive of the Urdd said: “As a nation, our debt to Syr Ifan’s vision is enormous. The Urdd has been a truly unique and innovative movement since the very beginning, and as relevant to young people today as it was a century ago. Reaching this special milestone is an opportunity for us to celebrate the Urdd’s story and look to the future.

“The Urdd has provided unique opportunities for more than 4 million children and young people in Wales to enjoy experiences through the medium of Welsh – from sport to the arts, residential, humanitarian, outdoor activities, voluntary, training, and international projects. It is the only organisation that offers such a wide variety to our young people and therefore deserves its place as Wales’ main youth organisation. On St Dwynwen’s Day, I call on everyone in Wales (and beyond!) to show their love towards the Urdd by joining the centenary celebrations and help us attempt an official Guinness World Records™ title.”

Alan Pixsley - Head of Global Event Production, Guinness World Records™said: “We’re very excited to be working with Urdd Gobaith Cymru on what promises to be a very exciting centenary anniversary celebration. Securing Guinness World Records™ titles is no easy feat and we wish all the participants and Urdd Gobaith Cymru the best of luck with their attempts.

“Our adjudicators look forward to seeing the singing videos and hope that they will be crowning Urdd Gobaith Cymru as record-holders of Most videos of people singing the same song uploaded to Facebook in one hour and Most videos of people singing the same song uploaded to Twitter in one hour.”

With BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Radio Wales broadcasting the celebrations on 25 January, Rhuanedd Richards, Director of Content and Services, BBC Wales said: “BBC Wales is delighted to be part of Urdd Gobaith Cymru’s 100th anniversary celebrations. The Urdd and BBC Wales have a special partnership spanning decades, with the BBC broadcasting from the Urdd Eisteddfod since the seventies.

“The organisation has played such an important role in providing opportunities for Welsh children, all through the medium of Welsh, and I have fond memories of competing on the stage at the Urdd Eisteddfod and of fun weekends visiting Llangrannog and Glan-llyn. I'm really looking forward to listening to the celebrations on Radio Cymru and Radio Wales on 25 January.”

Also on 25th January, St Fagans National Museum of History will open a new exhibition to mark the Urdd’s centenary, and iconic buildings such as the Senedd and the National Library of Wales have committed to flying the Urdd’s flag or to light-up in red, white and green especially for the occasion.

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