Young Volunteer of the Year Finalist – Gwenan Williams

For Gwenan Williams, helping to inspire more children to take part in sport is something that runs in the blood:

“My Mum is a PE teacher in Anglesey. I used to see her having so much fun. She has really inspired me.”

Gwenan, 18, has clearly got the same genes. She is now in her first year of university at Cardiff Met, but her final year in school saw her take on the role of Platinum Young Ambassador – that’s the highest rung of the ladder in the movement that is proving to have a huge impact on physical activity levels within schools across Wales.

She led three extra-curricular sport sessions a week at her school. She also trained up other ambassadors so they too could inspire fellow pupils.

And because children are less likely to feel comfortable doing sport once they get to secondary school, Gwenan – who is a javelin and shot putt thrower – helped primary school children settle in more easily by putting on sports sessions at the high school before they moved up.

Her hard work has certainly paid off:

“More children were inspired to take part because they knew I’d make it fun. And because I trained up other pupils to come silver ambassadors, they got a lot more involved in running sessions at lunchtime.”

She has also helped develop the Young Ambassador programme within the new special needs school, Canolfan Addysg y Bont.

The plucky, go-getting teenager not only helped to develop a training package suitable for the school, but she also trained and mentored Young Ambassadors within the school. She even developed and led the school’s first ever extra-curricular programme of sessions:

“I want to be a PE teacher but I thought why wait until I graduate to do what I want to do? It’s all been fantastic experience,” she explains. “It broadens my experience of working with different ages and different abilities.”

She has also been a familiar face at events across Anglesey. She helped organise the Anglesey and Gwynedd Girls Football Tournament and has volunteered at the Sandman Triathlon, Ras Yr Ynys, local primary school competitions and for the Urdd.

If that wasn’t enough, she even manages to find time to volunteer at Llangefni Netball Club.

“I have a passion for sport and I think it shows. I have never felt that any of the responsibilities have been a chore. I’ve always really enjoyed it.

“The rewards for me are seeing kids enjoying the session, socialising and having fun. I don’t do it for the recognition or glitzy awards. Sport is a place where you can have fun and not be stressed.”