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Mountain bikers race to Coliseum

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A CROWD-FUNDED UK mountain biking film had its premiere Welsh screening in Aberystwyth on Saturday (Jul 30) and was a very big hit with mountain bikers and fitness fanatics alike. 

‘Mountain Biking – The Untold British Story’, was shown at the Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth at 7.30pm.

Shot and co-produced by Blue Hippo Media (the makers of Bafta Winning ‘Bicycle’) and in partnership with ‘Singletrack’ magazine, the documentary film tells the story of the early development of mountain biking from its early days of ‘fat tyre clunkers’ four decades ago, all the way to what people know of it today- a modern day success , especially for UK Mountain Bike athletes worldwide.

Mountain biking made its mark by beginning in the hills of the West Coast of the USA, and the documentary sets out to tell the story through archive footage of early XC racing all the way to the modern British scene of mountain biking.

The documentary is made even more spectacular by featuring clips and interviews with famous names in the biking industry such as Steve Peat, Dan Gee, Tracy Moseley, Rachel Atherton, Rob Warner, Gary Fisher, Jason Miles, Geoff Apps and many more. In addition, the contributions of the famous names portray how they have helped shaped mountain biking into a global phenomenon. Piers Linney, former Dragon on BBC Dragons Den and MTB enthusiast, also participates in the film as an Associate Producer.

Pi Piper, the Co-Director and Producer of the film, spoke to The Herald on the film’s success and how it has aimed to inspire future Mountain Bikers: “Blue hippo media is a film company that has been going for over ten years and has made several feature length films including multi award -winning ‘The Insatiable Moon ‘, a NZ story we produced with the producer of The Lord of the Rings in 2009. We also made the much acclaimed documentary ‘Last Shop Standing ‘.

“The film has been made over the past nine months and took us all over the UK. It is an untold story and features what we believe are key elements of the story told through people who were and are there. It has been received really well which is a relief!

“I think it inspires that getting out on a mountain bike whatever the terrain or for how long, racing or just taking it easy , is about freedom to have adventures in nature.

“The film is screening in several places across the UK but can be bought as a download from August 6 at vimeo. com/ondemand/mtbuntold . ”

Alice Briggs, Assistant Curator at The Ceredigion Museum, spoke to The Herald about the screening and how Ceredigion Museum was honoured to be hosting the event: “We had fifty people attend, and there was a short introduction from Joe Hayward of ‘Summit Cycles’ in Aberystwyth , as it was a partnership event and they are one of the Crowd Funding supporters , because it was an ‘Indiegogo’ Crowd Funded film. They wanted to screen it in Aberystwyth as one of the premieres across Wales because it’s not actually on general release until this week (Aug 6), so it was a good opportunity for us.

“People hung around to chat with one another after the screening but we did not have a Q&A on the night. Fifty people, for us at The Ceredigion Museum, is a nice size audience, because we don’t have a huge number of seats at the moment.

“We ran an ‘adventure film night’ with Travel Writer s Hannah Engelkamp and Rhys Thwaites Jones, who make adventure films locally , and they partner with us on a type of quarterly programme.

“Joe Hayward came to the last one, which was an American equivalent of ‘Mountain Biking – The Untold British Story’ focussing on one individual in the Californian history of mountain biking who disappeared. When he was here, he mentioned about the British History of mountain biking film and asked if we would be interested in screening it.

“They don’t have a partner in Aberystwyth at the moment, only in Coed y Brenin, but they were looking for somewhere to screen locally here. It works really well for us to have a nice partnership like that and it brings a different audience into the Museum.

“Since the Ceredigion Museum had a cinema screen re-installed a few months ago, the success will slowly come and the ‘Mountain Biking – The Untold British Story’ was one of the first screenings, so we are looking to get more offers and there is more potential for us to work in partnerships with people. We definitely would like to get the word out there.

“We’re really keen to diversify the audience that we get into film screenings and other events as well; that’s one of the exciting things about having the cinema screens back , definitely.”

“What we want to make sure of is that we’re not trading on the toes of other local film providers in the area – that we’re doing something different and unique. We do feel that we can offer something different and that coming to the old Coliseum isn’t just about coming to the cinema , but also for the atmosphere and experience.”

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Ceredigion County Council’s Apprenticeship recruitment campaign is now live

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THE council’s 2019 Apprenticeship programme is now open for applications until Sunday 22 September.

A council apprenticeship gives learners the opportunity to build skills and confidence while earning a salary and gaining a nationally recognised qualification. With roles available in Business Administration, ICT Technical Support and Social Care teams, there is an opportunity for everyone.

The first year of the programme is nearing an end and has been a great success. Alanah Lloyd recently completed a Business Administration Apprenticeship. She said: “I would recommend doing an apprenticeship at Ceredigion County Council to all my friends. I enjoyed the balance of real responsibilities and having the space to keep on learning.”

Maria Lloyd, Alanah’s mother said: “When Alanah was successful with her application I was delighted. It gave her the opportunity to show her work ethic and continue with her education in an organisation where there is career progression. Alanah has now gained a permanent position at the council. I would highly recommend apprenticeships to other parents.”

Lynne Connolly, Apprenticeship and Work Experience Coordinator, Ceredigion County Council said: “This year we are continuing to demonstrate our commitment to ‘grow our own’, offering opportunities for school and college leavers to continue education in a working environment and for members of the community looking to return to work or change career. All our apprentices are paid well above the minimum apprentice wage which reflects how much we value their contribution.”

To apply and find out more visit career.ceredigion.gov.uk or contact us at apprentice@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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Overall ‘excellent’ performance at Mynach Primary School

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A RECENT Estyn report on the primary school in Mynach has given the ‘Excellent’ status to each of the five inspection areas.

It was noted in the report that the school had attained ‘Excellent’ status in standards; wellbeing and attitudes to learning; teaching and learning experiences; care, support and guidance; and leadership and management.

The report notes, ‘A particular feature is the opportunities for Key Stage 2 pupils to plan and deliver lessons for the rest of the class, focusing on specific skills.’

Joyce George is headteacher at Ysgol y Mynach. She is also headteacher at Pontrhydfendigaid Primary School and Sir John Rhys Primary School. She said, “As a headteacher, I am extremely proud of the results of the survey and very grateful to the staff, governors and those who work effectively together as a team to ensure a first class education for all pupils. I am proud of the fact that the inspectors identified pupils’ literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology skills as excellent.

It was also noted that a pioneering feature of Ysgol Mynach is the way in which teachers adapt and develop the curriculum in order to raise pupils’ independence. Working together as a wider partnership with Ysgol Pontrhydfendigaid and Ysgol Sir John Rhys, Ponterwyd is a great advantage and an opportunity to share expertise, co-design and share ideas which extend and widen the experiences of pupils across the schools.”

Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member for Learning services. She said: “The Estyn report shows that Ysgol Gynradd Mynach has achieved exceptionally high standards. The hard work and dedication of the headteacher, staff, governors and of course the children is very evident. The school shows that a way of working together with neighbouring schools in a progressive way can produce excellent results. Everyone in the school deserves congratulations.”

The report notes that the school is an extremely close community. It also notes that the head teacher has a progressive vision that is continually focused on maintaining and raising standards of pupils’ achievement and wellbeing.

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Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn visits Machynlleth

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ON Thursday 15 August Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed around 200 local Labour Party members from Mid, West and North Wales at Machynlleth Bowling Club. Tickets for the event had all been taken within 24 hours, and an additional video link was live streamed into the club bar to allow those who could not get into the packed venue the opportunity to hear him speak.

Mr Corbyn was joined by Christina Rees, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, and West Wales Regional AMs Joyce Watson and Eluned Morgan, Welsh Labour Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language.

Eluned Morgan AM’s passionate introductory remarks highlighted Welsh Labour’s ongoing commitment to improving outcomes in education, health, housing, jobs and the environment. She urged immediate action from international UK and international governments on the climate crisis, declaring ‘The emergency is now!’

Mr Corbyn made clear that he is expecting a general election to be likely very soon and proceeded to outlined the scale of the current crisis the UK is facing, with 14 million now in poverty in the world’s 5th richest economy, and child poverty predicted by some to rise as high as 40%.

He went on to congratulate Welsh Labour on the great work that has been possible in Wales to insulate the Welsh people from the worst of the effects of Tory austerity, protecting vital NHS services and preventing the worst of school cuts, but he explained that there was only so much that could be done without the full support of a Labour government in Westminster.

“Things will be very different under a Labour government” Mr Corbyn added, saying that Labour will invest in people, with principles of equality and social justice and to demonstrate his state of readiness, with great vigour declared: “I’m up for an election anytime”.

He expressed grave concern over the effects that a reckless No Deal Brexit would have on the UK economy with particular reference to the devastating effects on Welsh industry and agriculture. He promised that Labour will do everything they can to prevent a no-deal, including the offer of a second referendum with Remain as an option, and the formation of a national unity government to prevent further political chaos.

Outlining his commitment to green industrial development Jeremy Corbyn stated that a Labour government would support the creation of the Swansea Tidal Lagoon which would bring valuable new green transitional jobs to Wales which would lead the world on renewables technology.

Mr Corby thanked everyone present for their efforts in Wales and reaffirmed his commitment to core Labour values of equality and social justice. He received a standing ovation and stayed after the event to chat and have photos taken with supporters.

A Ceredigion Labour spokesperson commented: “Jeremy Corbyn spoke passionately and inspiringly. He was full of praise for our outstanding efforts in the 2017 election and said he would be visiting Ceredigion during the next General Election campaign.”

The following day Mr Corbyn visited the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth to see new renewable energy technology in action and learn about pioneering methods of sustainable building and farming. He also confirmed that he would not stand in the way of any future discussion of a Welsh Independence referendum, and that he was open to considering all options for Wales’future.

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