Following the success of Ras yr Iaith (The Race for the Language) held in 2014, arrangements are now in place to hold the race again next year.
The Ras yr Iaith Committee met this year during the National Eisteddfod in Meifod, and following that meeting, we are pleased to announce the intention to hold the race on the 6,7,8th of July 2016. The Race will run through the town centres along the Western half of Wales, starting in Bangor on the 6th of July and finishing in Llandeilo on Friday the 8th of July.
A number of Welsh language organisations have come together in aide of organising this ambitious project including: Menter Iaith Conwy, Maldwyn, Cered (Ceredigion), Sir Benfro, Gorllewin Sir Gâr, and Bro Dinefwr. Mentrau Iaith Cymru centrally and the new language initiative in Bangor, alongside local groups in Gwynedd ar also involved in the scheme.
Ras yr Iaith is based on similar races organised in Brittany, Ireland and the Basque Country. It’s important to stress that this isn’t a competitive race but a fun relay race where the language baton is carried from one town centre to another. Businesses, clubs, organisations, schools or families pay £50 to sponsor 1km and any number of people can run that stretch of the race.
Ras yr iaith, with the money raised from sponsors, allocates grants to projects promoting the Welsh language. Following the success of Ras yr Iaith 2014, £4,000 worth of grants was allocated to groups and initiatives throughout the area the race was held. This included various musical festivals such as Gŵyl Nôl a Mlaen and Tregaroc, to Yoga lessons and a Welsh language Drama Festival.
Emily Cole, National Coordinator, Mentrau Iaith Cymru said:
“Mentrau Iaith Cymru is eager to be a part of Ras yr Iaith, especially considering it’s success in 2014. The Mentrau have a network of groups and specialise in engaging with people from all kinds of background and we feel that Ras yr Iaith offers a golden opportunity to promote and celebrate the Welsh language.”
Siôn Jobbins, Chair of Ras yr Iaith added:
“Organising Ras yr Iaith poses an ambitious challenge – but then, reviving the Welsh language poses no more a greater challenge. By organising the race we show the good will, enthusiasm and determination that the people of Wales have to ensure that the Welsh language thrives and flourishes in Wales.
“I’m ever so pleased that many Mentrau Iaith are joining with us. It’s great being able to say that the second race will be greater and bigger than the first.”