Ras yr Iaith returned to Ceredigion this year on Thursday, 22 June 2023, with 450 children from schools in the Aberystwyth area taking part.
Ras yr Iaith is not a competitive race but rather a fun run to celebrate the Welsh Language and the event was coordinated by Mentrau Iaith and organised locally by Cered: Menter Iaith Ceredigion.
This year, Ras yr Iaith visited 11 towns across Wales namely Fishguard/Goodwick, Swansea, Caerphilly, Connah’s Quay, Llangefni, Nefyn, Pontypool, Porthcawl, Rhyl and of course Aberystwyth.
The event included a speech by Councillor Catrin M S Davies, the Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Welsh Language and Culture, and people sang the National Anthem to the accompaniment of the Ceredigion Music Service Brass Ensemble. The running started at 10am from Aberystwyth Harbour before following a 1,300m course along the Promenade to the Bandstand.
Guiding the runners was Owain Schiavone, a familiar face in Aberystwyth, Chief Executive and Director of Golwg, founder of Y Selar music magazine, and also a successful runner. Recently, Owain was chosen to represent the Wales Masters team and he has been busy organising Ras y Barcud in the absence of its founder Richard ‘Dic’ Evans – an individual who was pivotal to the development of Ras yr Iaith.
Steffan Rees, Cered Team Leader and the main organiser of the event, said: “It was great having Ras yr Iaith back in Ceredigion in order to celebrate the Welsh Language in such a fun, energetic and colourful way. I’m very grateful to the schools, staff and volunteers for their support and I would like to thank once again the sponsors – Aberystwyth Town Council, Tesco Aberystwyth and Castell Howell.”
Councillor Catrin M S Davies, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member for Culture, said: “This was an unbeatable event. It was a lovely summer’s day which we enjoyed on the seafront in Aberystwyth with hundreds of Ceredigion children practicing their Welsh and their legs. A big thank you goes to the Ceredigion staff, teachers, parents and carers who ensured a successful event.”
Upon their arrival at the Bandstand, the runners were greeted by Councillor Maldwyn Lewis, Chair of Ceredigion County Council and an hour of lively singing and dancing with Mei Gwynedd a’r Band Tŷ Potas.