The largest birthday party in the movement’s history and two GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title attempts
Wales’s largest national youth movement, Urdd Gobaith Cymru, is celebrating its centenary in 2022, and today (25 November), it is announcing some of its plans for an exciting year of celebrations to mark this milestone in its history. Since 1922, the Urdd has provided opportunities for more than 4 million children and young people in Wales to enjoy sporting, cultural, residential, humanitarian and volunteering experiences through the medium of Welsh.
In exactly two months’ time, on 25 January 2022, the celebrations for the year will begin with the movement’s largest Birthday Party on Cariad @ Urdd day. The Urdd and the whole nation will attempt two Guinness World Records™ titles by singing together and uploading videos of the iconic song, Hei Mistar Urdd, onto Twitter and Facebook. A special party will be held for schools in Wales in the company of the Stwnsh Sadwrn presenters, which will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Radio Wales.
Siân Lewis, the Urdd’s Chief Executive: “There is no doubt that the period since March 2020 has been the most challenging in our history. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we had to close our camps and our regular community, sporting and cultural activities had to stop.
“However, we are rebuilding, and the year of our centenary will be one to remember, with the plans of every department reflecting our spirit and ambition. We are also making a significant investment in our camps and there will be three exciting openings in 2022; the opening of the first environmental camp of its kind in Wales at Pentre Ifan, Pembrokeshire; the opening of the Heart of the Centre in Llangrannog; and the opening of the new Water Centre at Glan-llyn.”
Some of the year’s other highlights include international trips for young people to America, Ireland and Norway; which include special plans for the centenary’s Message of Peace and Goodwill. And the Sports Department will lead with the Welsh Urban Games festival in Cardiff Bay – which will showcase new Olympic sports such as BMX and skateboarding; Wales’s first Youth Sports Conference for Girls, #FelMerch; in addition to hosting the Urdd WRU Rugby 7s tournament. Also, a Concert to Celebrate the Urdd’s Centenary with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales will be held; S4C has commissioned an exciting series that takes us back to Llangrannog through the decades, which will be filmed during the Spring by Boom Cymru; and the In Character theatre production, ‘Canrif Syr Ifan’, will be touring around schools in Wales.
Siân Lewis added when discussing the celebrations: “I call on all the schools, clubs, volunteers, businesses and organisations in Wales, and new and former members, to join the biggest party in our history! This is an opportunity for you to celebrate and for us to thank everyone who has played a small or significant part in making the Urdd an important movement for Wales and the people of Wales. Register to take part in the party and the attempt at two Guinness World Records™ titles in two months’ time, and to see the name of your school, club or organisation on the Welsh map on our website, and share that you have joined by using #Urdd100.”
To coincide with the announcement regarding the centenary plans and Explore Your Archive Week, the official home of the Urdd’s archive, the National Library of Wales, has invited Mistar Urdd to visit the actual archive and is keen to remind everyone of the importance of archives as historical records. You can learn about all aspects of the Urdd’s work over the past century at the library’s archive in Aberystwyth, where a complete record is to be found.
In addition to celebrating archive week with Mistar Urdd during this week, the National Library will be organising several events to mark the Urdd’s special year, including exhibitions and workshops.
Pedr ap Llwyd, Chief Executive and Librarian at the National Library: “The Urdd continues to be an indispensable national movement that continues to enrich the lives of children and young people while promoting the Welsh language at the same time, a hundred years on from its establishment. The extent of the organisation’s contribution to our national life is immeasurable and we’re proud to say that much of the organisation’s work is recorded here in the Library’s collections, in archival collections, books, sound and moving images. It is all a testament to the activity of an organisation of which we should all be proud. It is a great privilege to be part of the Urdd’s centenary celebrations and to meet Mistar Urdd himself, one of my heroes!”
To attend the Urdd’s Birthday Party and to join the two Guinness World Records™ title attempts, you need to register on the Urdd website: www.urdd.cymru/100. As schools and organisations register, they will appear on a map on the centenary website, where videos and party resources are available to all. In addition to attending the party, the Urdd has invited partners, businesses, schools and organisations throughout Wales to mark the centenary by waving the Urdd flag on 25 January. The Welsh Parliament, St Fagans Folk Museum, Big Pit and the National Waterfront Museum, along with many other iconic buildings in Wales, have already committed to waving the Urdd flag, and a flag can be ordered through the Urdd website.
More centenary activities will be announced over the next few months on the centenary website www.urdd.cymru/100