Cymdeithas yr Iaith and Castell Newydd Emlyn Rugby Club have launched a new campaign to encourage people to make Welsh the natural language of sport and leisure in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire.
On behalf of Cymdeithas, Bethan Williams said: “We are so pleased to be launching this campaign on the eve of St David’s Day at Castell Newydd Emlyn Rugby Club. It’s a great example of a popular club rooted in the local community which sets a fine example of naturally using Welsh in its activities, training and publicity while being inclusive of everyone.
“Indeed, there are many sports facilities here in Dyffryn Teifi which make full use of the Welsh language as their natural medium, including football and cricket clubs and especially Calon Tysul – the Llandysul leisure centre now under community ownership.
“We urge community sports clubs throughout Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion to follow their example and embrace Welsh as their main medium.”
She added: “Movements such as the Urdd, Mentrau Iaith and YFCs organise many leisure activities specifically in Welsh.
“The aim of this campaign is to persuade mainstream community clubs to embrace Welsh as their main medium of activity, so that young people don’t start associating Welsh with school only, but also with everything which they really enjoy in life as well.
“We recognise the giant strides which have been made in recent times by Carmarthenshire County Council in making Welsh an integral part of their leisure centres. Our call is now for the council to make the gear change from just offering activities like swimming lessons in Welsh to making Welsh the natural language of all the activities.
“Given that all pupils are now learning at school to use Welsh, there is no reason not to make Welsh the natural language of sport and leisure, at least for youngsters, so that one doesn’t have to make special requests for Welsh-language lessons."
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