With the National Eisteddfod visiting Rhondda Cynon Taf for the first time for almost 70 years in 2024, festival organisers have announced the names of the officials steering the project over the next year and a half.
The Rhondda Cynon Taf Eisteddfod project has been running for a while, engaging with communities at micro local level, to raise awareness about the Eisteddfod, our language and culture across the region.
The steering group has also met over the past few months to start the preparations for the Eisteddfod’s long-awaited visit.
The next step is to create subject committees to work on the list of competitions, as well s setting up local committees to raise awareness and place the community fund on a firm footing.
Helen Prosser, from Tonyrefail, has been elected Chair of the Executive Committee. Originally from Rhondda Cynon Taf, Helen works for the National Centre for Learning Welsh, following a period leading the Welsh learning sector locally.
She said, “The Eisteddfod’s visit to our area is an opportunity for us to show that we have a vibrant, modern and inclusive culture, and that there’s a welcome for everyone. This will be one of my main messages over the next few months.
“The next year and a half is going to be challenging, and I want people who’ve been through Welsh medium education to see the Eisteddfod as a chance to give our language another go.”
Andrew White, from Llanharan, is the Executive Committee’s Deputy-chair. Andrew started learning Welsh after visiting the Eisteddfod in Newport as a 17-year-old, and the language now thrives in the family home.
Andrew is the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Director for Wales, and before joining the organisation, he worked as the Director of Stonewall Cymru for a number of years. He is keen to contribute towards an Eisteddfod that reflects the wonderful range of communities across the region.
The Chair of the Local Fund is Iolo Roberts, from Efail Isaf. He works as a journalist for the BBC in Cardiff. The Eisteddfod has played an important role in his life, having visited the festival and competed every year since his childhood.
He believes that the Eisteddfod’s visit is an excellent opportunity to bring the region together, working towards reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050.
The next year and a half is a chance to build on the enthusiasm and love which exists across all three valleys towards our language.
Welcoming the three officials, Eisteddfod Chief Executive, Betsan Moses said: “We’re looking forward to working with Helen, Iolo and Andrew over the next few months as we prepare for the Eisteddfod’s visit to Rhondda Cynon Taf.
“We’ll be encouraging people to join our committees and local groups early in the new year so we can begin the work of organising the festival locally.
"Rhondda Cynon Taf has an important link with the Eisteddfod’s history. The first modern-day Eisteddfod was held in Aberdare in 1861, and although we haven’t held the festival locally since 1956, we have visited Rhondda, Cynon and Taf in the past.
“We’re looking forward to returning to the area and to working with Helen, Andrew and Iolo and the team to make sure that the Rhondda Cynon Taf National Eisteddfod is a great success, nationally as well as locally.”
We’re still looking to elect a secretary for the Executive Committee. Nominations for this role close on 9 January, with full details available here
The Rhondda Cynon Taf National Eisteddfod is held in August 2024. Read more
Posted on 14/12/2022