The Welsh Rugby Union today announced a series of exciting new initiatives to enhance the use of Welsh within the organisation and was awarded ‘Cynnig Cymraeg’ status by the Welsh Language Commissioner’s office in return.
At the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, the WRU’s interim CEO Nigel Walker published the Union’s revamped Welsh Language Policy, which commits to a significant increase in the provision offered to the public.
The WRU’s main publications, including significant press releases, senior squad match reports and other major news stories will be available in English and Welsh and an increase in the usage of the Welsh language internally will also be advocated and encouraged.
There is a firm commitment for new and relevant signage around Principality Stadium to be bilingual and other publications and communications produced by the WRU, including match programmes and it’s various online provisions, will promote the use of Welsh.
Nigel Walker WRU interim CEO said: “Considering and promoting the Welsh language in everything we offer to our public is a daily commitment and obligation for an organisation which is at the heart of our nation.
“We will improve our provision and services and will embrace the new opportunities that promoting the Welsh language will bring to us and our supporters.”
The WRU’s commitment to improve its Welsh language provision was formally recognised at the launch of the new policy today by the Welsh Language Commissioner’s office, as it was awarded with the ‘Cynnig Cymraeg’ status.
The ‘Welsh Offer’ is recognition by the Commissioner given to organisations with a strong plan who are committed to improving their engagement with the public by showing how proud they are to offer services in Welsh.
Efa Gruffudd Jones, Welsh Language Commission said: “We would like to encourage and assist more people to be able to use the Welsh language in their day to day lives. For that to happen, the language needs be heard naturally everywhere – in our communities, and in various sectors such as the arts and of course in the world of sport. The Welsh Rugby Union plays a hugely significant role in Welsh society and I very much welcome its commitment to the Welsh language. I’m very happy to acknowledge the progress made by the WRU and our Cynnig Cymraeg (Welsh Offer) commendation underlines that. I very much look forward to working closely with the Union to further develop their support of the Welsh language.”
The Welsh Rugby Union also confirmed it would be working with the National Centre for Learning Welsh to deliver a range of Welsh language training for its staff.
The National Centre will deliver bespoke, tutor-led courses for over 100 staff who’ve said they would like to learn the language, or strengthen their Welsh skills. Training will be available at different learning levels, from beginners to confidence-building, while staff will also be able to access over 1,500 free digital learning resources developed by the Centre.
A free, virtual rugby-themed taster session, held by the National Centre on 6 September, and open to all Welsh rugby supporters, will kick off the new training initiative. More information can be found on the Centre’s website, learnwelsh.cymru
Dona Lewis, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Learning Welsh, said: “The National Centre is delighted to be working with the WRU to create new opportunities for people to learn and enjoy the Welsh language during the build up to the Rugby World Cup and beyond.
“Cymraeg belongs to us all, and all are welcome to learn the language with us. We’ll be developing a tailored programme of training to support learners from the rugby community, and are looking forward to cheering on Cymru over the coming months.”
Image: WRU interim Chief Executive Nigel Walker, Efa Gruffudd Jones, Welsh Language Commissioner, Dona Lewis, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Learning Welsh and Wales Women head coach Ioan Cunningham.