Teepees for young visitors - and chief

4th June 2004 at 01:00
Where else should a North Wales chief hold the fort but in a teepee on the Urdd field?

Richard Brunstrom, chief constable of North Wales police, was due to meet the public today in one of five teepees set up at the Urdd Eisteddfod at Anglesey agricultural showground, Mona.

The teepees - the largest housing up to 100 children - are part of a new initiative for the Urdd, aimed at keeping young visitors entertained with storytelling, scripting sessions, dancing and other activities. They are in an area of the field labelled Llwybr Llaethog (Milky Way), another new venture. In the "street" there are hairdressing demonstrations, a skateboard park, and singing and music classes.

Sian Eirian, director of the Eisteddfod, said: "Not everyone coming here is competing and we needed to increase the activities available for them. The tepees and the "street" are run by young people and offer a wide range of modern, contemporary and cultural experiences."

Around 15,000 participants have been competing in more than 460 events on the Urdd field, supported by thousands of visitors - 23,000 on Tuesday alone.

And the Eisteddfod was the first chance for groups to book a stay at the Urdd's new residential base at Cardiff's Millennium Centre.

The Urdd has three other residential centres in the Welsh countryside, offering indoor and outdoor activities. Founded in 1922, the organisation now has 50,000 members under 25 and, according to this year's president, remains strong in schools.

Andrea Parry, 28, of Bala, a PE and Welsh teacher at Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy, Llanrwst, said: "The Urdd is moving with the times. It provides much more than just the Eisteddfod. There are thousands competing but many more haven't qualified. It shows how influential the movement remains."

The Urdd finishes tomorrow

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