College News

College launches new community sports facility

Coleg Sir Gâr has officialy launched its new community sports facility which is a 3G artificial grass pitch funded by Sports Wales Collaborative Group.

Due to the decline of the college’s ageing artificial turf pitch at the Graig campus, a new facility has been developed which is aimed at sports clubs and the wider community to help engage and encourage participation in sport.

With access to the community at the forefront of this facility, the college has put in place a coordinator who will manage the hire and use of the pitch, provide first aid and extend public access to weekends, evenings and school holidays. 

The Inspire Sport Community Hub is facilitated by the college but involves strategic funding partners including the college, Sport Wales, FAW, WRU and Hockey Wales.

Nikki Neale, faculty and campus director at Coleg Sir Gâr’s Graig campus, said: “We’re delighted to present this new and exciting facility to the community.

“Hire costs will fund the hub coordinator as well as regular and detailed maintenance to ensure the community has access to an all-weather, state of the art pitch designed for both competitve and recreational levels.

“Building work is also underway which will see a new teaching facility designed for sports students including new changing rooms, sports hall and gym which will be made available for users of our 3G pitch and other community groups.”

 

Picture: Coleg Sir Gâr officially launches its new Inspire Sport Community Hub, a brand new state of the art 3G pitch which has been developed for use by the wider community. From left, Barry Liles, Coleg Sir Gâr principal, Nikki Neale, faculty and campus director (Graig), Anthony Buchanan from the WRU and Colin Staples FAW Trust and representative of the Sport Wales Collaborative Group.

To find out about booking the facility, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UK awards for agricultural engineering students

The Institute of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) has awarded two students with UK-wide awards for their engineering designs manufactured as part of project work at Coleg Sir Gâr’s Gelli Aur campus.

Philip Mattey, from Burry Port, has been awarded the Student Project Award for his flat 8-grab design with rotational feature, which takes away the need for hand stacking machine-made bales.  He also won the 2016 John Hancock award for the same design.

Michael Mathias from Cardigan who won the Student Safety Award for his trailer brake adjustment alarm which alerts a tractor driver if the trailer brakes are starting to wear. This is a new award to encourage innovation in safety design.

Geraint Evans, Coleg Sir Gâr agricultural engineering lecturer said: “We’re thrilled that our students were awarded two out of the three national IAgrE student awards.

“Our students have won IAgrE awards consistently since 2013 which I think demonstrates the calibre of their work, they also won two out of the three student awards this year.”

Picture: UK award winners: Philip Mattey,18, winner of the Student Project Award and Michael Mathias, 20,  who won the Student Safety Award pictured with Coleg Sir Gâr agricultural engineering lecturers, Geraint Evans (left) and Colin Jones (right)

Academy sporting achievements recognised

Sporting achievements at Coleg Sir Gâr have been recognised with an awards presentation at the Graig campus in Llanelli.

The college’s sports academy, which is accessible to all students, presented awards for individual and team honours, which include Wales rugby U20s, female rugby Welsh Colleges U19s, Welsh Schools and Colleges football and wheelchair basketball U20s GB.

Individual honours were also awarded for most improved players, development players and coaches and players selection within each academy sport.

Elaine Rees, assistant curriculum head at Coleg Sir Gâr said: “Players and coaches work hard throughout the season and we feel it’s important to recognise their success.

“Our sports academy provides students with the opportunity of achieving their maximum potential and support this by offering timetabled academy coaching sessions, excellent links with sports industry partners, weekly competitions, and access to strength, conditioning and physiotherapy.”

Gary Jones presented the awards, representing Llanelli Town Council, principal sponsor of the college Sports Academy.    

Photos available here

Event explored Brexit’s impact on farming

Coleg Sir Gâr hosted an event at its agricultural campus in Gelli Aur, which was organised by NatWest bank and explored the future of farming post-Brexit.

The event was planned following concerns raised by agriculture students at workshops delivered by NatWest at the college’s agricultural campus.

Key speakers included Roddy McLean, head of agriculture at NatWest who helps shape the bank’s farming policies and deals with funding requests.  Dr Nerys Llewelyn Jones, managing partner of Agri Advisor spoke about farming succession and collaborative farming.  In addition, representatives from LHP accountants and CARA (Cymru Agricultural & Rural Advice Ltd) were on hand in a Q&A session.  

Dr Nerys Llewelyn Jones said: “It was difficult to hear some of the figures about the incomes of farms and the impact that Brexit might have on them but it was reassuring to hear positive comments from the panel and audience about the future and how we might adapt to the changing political climate.”

Becky Pask, enterprise coordinator at Coleg Sir Gâr has established links with NatWest as part of her role.  She said: “Farming is rooted within our rural community in Carmarthenshire and we felt that with the college’s links, we could host an event which was very well received and beneficial for those who have concerns regarding the political changes affecting the future of the industry.”

Julia Perry, NatWest’s business growth enabler for Dyfed and Swansea, said: “The evening was a great opportunity for those in the farming community to come together to hear debate and discussion about the common challenges they are facing at the moment but also about the opportunities available for efficient, well-run businesses.

Dr Nerys Llewelyn Jones added: “Farmers are used to managing the volatility of market prices and changes to the weather and I felt a sense of that resilience and determination at this event.”

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Pic: Representatives from organisations who attended NatWest’s event at Gelli Aur campus

 

Welsh award for accountancy students

Three part-time students at Coleg Sir Gâr have won a bronze medal for their accountancy skills in a Wales-wide competition.

Samantha Daniel, Rhian Worrell and Rachel Vetter are studying the Association of Accountancy Technicians (AAT) level two course at the college’s Pibwrlwyd campus in Carmarthen. 

The team competed against 25 other students from across Wales in a series of accountancy challenges in a two-hour task.  “During the competition, the team had to show competence in a range of bookkeeping and accounting processes,” said Coleg Sir Gâr lecturer, Navdeep Randhawa.  “They were also judged on employability skills including teamwork, communication, literacy and presentation against a lot of difficult competition. It was a fantastic experience for them that really challenged them to work under pressure.”

Backed by the Welsh Government through the European Social Fund, Skills Competition Wales is a series of events held in colleges across the country, designed to celebrate vocational skills and create highly skilled, award winning employees for the Welsh workforce.

Picture: AAT Wales-wide bronze medallists, from left, Coleg Sir Gâr accountancy students Rachel Vetter, Samantha Daniel and Rhian Worrell

 

Degree project findings to be revealed at agriculture conference

By Iwan Thomas, lecturer in agriculture, Gelli Aur Campus.

The weekly journey from Brynaman to Gelli Aur is an extremely pleasing one for Eurgan Llewellyn, a student who is on the point of completing her degree course in agriculture at the end of this academic year.  Eurgan has been a student on the campus since 2012, and has worked diligently in order to complete several courses, and by now she is close to completing a degree course in agriculture.

Coleg Sir Gâr on the Gelli Aur campus by now offers the option for students to study a full degree in agriculture, with the flexibility to study through the medium of Welsh or English.  This programme has been validated by University of Wales Trinity St David and it has been designed to meet the requirements of students who wish to work as well as gain a qualification in Agriculture by committing to the programme on a full or part-time basis.

Eurgan by now is a student on the third year of the degree course, and is busily completing her research investigation, where she is looking into the factors which influence grass growth rates on the Gelli Aur farm.  Eurgan is busy at the moment analysing the farm’s grass growth data, and is investigating the important factors that influence the sustainability of grass species, which affect the productivity level and quality of the food.

“Grass is one of the cheapest foods which is produced on the farm, but often as farmers we can’t get the best level of productivity from the fields on our farms.  As a result of this, I decided to research the main factors that influence the productivity level of fields,” said Eurgan.

“By measuring grass growth rates, and looking at wider factors such as the soil pH, compaction rates in the soil profile, soil nutrition level as well as the type of grasses that exist within the field, all these factors can substantially contribute towards the field’s growth rates, leading to a very interesting analysis,” added Mr Lyn Richards, one of the tutors who is supervising the project.

More information about the project will be revealed at a conference to be held on the Gelli Aur Campus on Tuesday 23rd May, 2017, to start at 10 am.  The other guest speakers who will be present will be Dr Prysor Williams from Bangor University, who will be discussing developments within agriculture in Wales.  Dr Sharon Huws from Aberystwyth University who will be discussing the importance of nutrition and the digestive system of ruminants, while Dr Delana Davies from Farming Connect will discuss the implications of research work within the beef sector.

We look forward to welcoming you to the event, and in order to book a place, contact either Hefin Jones at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. <mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>  or Sion Walker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Wednesday 17th May.

 

Student excels at AoC Sport National Championships

 

A-level student Mollie North represented Coleg Sir Gâr at the AoC Sport National Championships where she was a key member of the winning women’s Welsh rugby team. 

The 17 year-old former Bryngwyn student travelled to University of Nottingham to take part as did Coleg Sir Gâr sports student and rugby enthusiast Carys Lloyd who was also selected but couldn’t play due to a back injury. 

The AoC Sport National Championships is the largest student event in the UK which is held over a three-day period and involves over 1,800 students in 13 sports. 

 

Computing students win two golds and two silvers in Welsh competition

Computing students at Coleg Sir Gâr rose to the challenge of two demanding briefs in a Wales-wide competition and won four medals including two golds and two silver awards. 

Skills Competition Wales is a Welsh Government backed programme designed to celebrate vocational skills and produce award-winning employees for industry to help endorse the Welsh workforce.

In a Wales-wide competition heat, Ben Willis won gold in the Advanced IT Technician category of the competition with Sebastian Gregory taking the silver.  Josiah Richards won gold in the Advanced Web Design category with Cahen Wheeler taking a joint silver, shared with a NPTG Group student.

Daniel Davies, computing lecturer at Coleg Sir Gâr said: “Both competition briefs were particularly demanding and of a high level as they were designed with UK and WorldSkills competitions in mind.

“The IT Technicians competitions challenged skills in hardware using PCs, wireless devices, switches, webcams and Cloudbooks and each competitor had to build two PCs and set up a client network.

Mike David, computing lecturer also commented: “The Web Design competition asked competitors to design and develop a multi-page responsive website to promote Skills Competitions Wales and we are delighted with the success of our students.

"Martyn John and Catrin Parry-Jones from CircleIT, a Managed IT Support Company based in Cardiff Gate Business Park, were invited along judge the competition and were very impressed with the standard of work produced."

Denise Hudson head of computing at Coleg Sir Gâr added: “Excellent results for our computing students, we are confident this will encourage those students who are entered for the UK Skills heats to be successful, and hopefully secure selection for the UK Skills final in Birmingham this November.”

Judges Martyn John and Catrin Parry-Jones from CircleIT in Cardiff

Students selected for Team UK Abu Dhabi

Two students from Coleg Sir Gâr are representing the UK at WordSkills, Abu Dhabi this October following a rigorous selection process.

Elizabeth Forkuoh and Alfie Hopkin are two out of four competitors from Wales who have been selected to compete as part of Team UK at the largest skills competition in the world.

Alfie Hopkin, a former Ysgol Glan y Mor pupil, is competing in the web design competition and Elizabeth Forkuoh will compete in the restaurant services category.

Coleg Sir Gâr has an established reputation for students competing at national and international level.  Three have returned from EuroSkills with a gold and two silver medals and many others have competed as far as Sao Paulo and Calgary.  

As Skills Champion for Wales, college principal Barry Liles is at the helm of Wales’ involvement in skills competitions and is passionate about promoting the nation at international level. Coleg Sir Gâr also leads the Welsh Government funded project, Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales, which supports Welsh competitors training to compete nationally and internationally.

Elizabeth Forkuoh, formerly of Coedcae Comprehensive School, is no stranger to skills competitions having this year being awarded a British Education Award, which recognises her competition success including winning a UK-wide gold award for restaurant services at the Skills Show at Birmingham NEC in 2015. Receiving nationwide recognition for her skills, Elizabeth has been offered employment by a London-based Michelin star restaurant and has experienced a placement at The Ritz London.  As well as working at the Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli, she is currently studying an NVQ level three diploma in hospitality supervision and leadership at Coleg Sir Gâr’s Pibwrlwyd campus following successful completion of qualifications in professional cookery, professional food and beverage and barista skills. 

Alfie Hopkin, who is studying a level three extended diploma in IT in Llanelli, began his competition journey in 2015 when he won the Welsh heat of a web design competition run by Skills Competitions Wales, the launch pad into the international skills arena. He then won a bronze award in the national final and was selected for Squad UK with four other competitors.  He has gained the only place available in the UK team to compete in web design at Abu Dhabi following a recent team selection event in Manchester.  He will begin intense training in the UK and overseas including competing in the Canadian web design final in Winnipeg in May.

Barry Liles, Coleg Sir Gâr principal and Welsh Government Skills Champion for Wales has been driving the skills agenda in Wales for a number of years. He said: “The competitions aim to inspire young people to be ambitious and exceptional within their area of expertise.

“Driving excellence in skills helps businesses to compete and in turn helps Wales and the UK proudly compete in a global market. I am thrilled with Wales’ performance and very proud of our Coleg Sir Gâr students."

 

Students fire-up at international iron casting competition

 

 

Sculpture students from Coleg Sir Gâr’s Carmarthen School of Art have returned from America where they attended the National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices.

The team of five competed in the student cupola competition and were the only team outside of the USA to take part.  “Everyone was crazy excited about our journey over from the UK,” said Ashleigh Harrold, a BA honours student who led the college team. “We got a lot of support from other schools and SLOSS Metal Arts.”

The team won the runner up award for best furnace design which was made from 12 flanged panels bolted together into two hexagonal stacks and cylindrical wind belt. “The design was awarded because of its ability to flat pack into a suitcase and travel internationally,” said Ashleigh Harrold. “The size it packed down to and the weight of it was an enormous constraint.”

Ashleigh Harrold also won the Erik Johnson award which is presented to a student competing at the conference for their hard work and enthusiasm for the process and material of cast iron. “I couldn’t believe that I got it,” she said. “It was a huge surprise.” The award includes an invitation to the next SLOSS national conference, a workshop and materials.

Travelling with team members Sarah Gilroy, Harrison Warren, Matthew Iley and Sam Tipping, who are all studying a degree in sculpture at Carmarthen School of Art, the group is hoping that more students will attend next year.  Ashleigh Harold added: “I have learnt that making connections and building rapport with people is an integral part of living in this art community.” The team hope that through the connections made at the conference they are able to help strengthen the relationship between the iron community here in Wales and internationally. 

“Being in the surroundings of such an historic site as well as being surrounded by some of the biggest names in cast iron sculpture has really showed me what level my work can progress to.”

          

Pic: BA honours sculpture students from Coleg Sir Gâr’s Carmarthen School of Art taking part in the student cupola competition at the National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices in Alabama, USA.

Picture credit Sarah Gilroy

 

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