This year the third CollegesWales Sport Snowdonia Challenge was held in beautiful Parc Padarn, Llanberis and was featured on S4C's Heno on Tuesday 14th May. Colleges from across Wales gathered in the North Wales National Park to compete against each other but after the two days of activities Coleg Llandrillo students came away victorious.

13 campuses (11 colleges) travelled to the idyllic location and for the third consecutive year Coleg Llandrillo students came away with 1st prize, while Merthyr Tydfil and Coleg Menai came 2nd and 3rd, respectively. The event was organised in collaboration with Grŵp Llandrillo Menai; the Outdoor Partnership; Gwynedd, Conwy and Ynys Môn local authorities; Welsh Cycling; Canoes Wales; Welsh Colleges Sport and Sport Wales, who are all committed to supporting post-16 learners to achieve their potential through outdoor activities.

Tracey Evans, CEO of the Outdoor Partnership said:

We're delighted to continue with this partnership to provide opportunities for our FE community. It compliments a number of our existing programmes including our 'pathways to employment' and volunteering programmes. It's also an ideal way to directly encourage and demonstrate outdoor activity career opportunities.

S4C's Heno, with former Swansea City and Bangor City footballer turned presenter Owain Tudur Jones, came to ask students and organisers about the event and why it's important for Welsh Colleges to take part. Sam Duncalf, who studies Outdoor Education at Coleg Llandrillo, expressed how much he enjoyed taking part in the Snowdonia Challenge with his peers, he said:

The Snowdonia Challenge is great. It gives us the opportunity to compete in activities and sports which we are learning about in college and so it will help us with our course.

Commenting on the significance of the Snowdonia Challenge, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai CEO, Dafydd Evans, said:

We are committed to inspiring success by providing excellent education and training to all of our learners and the Snowdonia Challenge provides real life challenges and opportunities for our FE learners' pan-Wales. As part of mental health awareness week, what better way than to offer our learners a healthy outdoor competition, to ensure we create a society in which people's physical and mental well-being is maximised

The competition is designed to consolidate the key curriculum skill set that learners on Outdoor Education courses will have covered throughout the year in a challenging and fun way. Typical curriculum on Sport Outdoor and Public Services provision includes units with an emphasis on a range of essential transferable employability skills such as effective teamwork, collaboration, communication, organisation, event planning, risk assessment, sustainability and resilience. These are all naturally embedded in the event activities and by participating, and reflecting upon the event, learners are able to identify and evidence a well-rounded skill set that will help them move successfully into their future careers - all while having a great time competing and making new friends.

Students from Grŵp Llandrillo Menai Sport courses helped out in various support roles at the event to ensure the event went as smoothly as possible. Their help was essential for the running of the event but was also a great opportunity to improve their employability skills and understanding of event organisation and risk management, in a real event setting. 

For more information about the event contact Tara Dancey at Coleg Menai, Bangor on 01248 370 125.

The learn more about the outdoor courses available at GLLM colleges visit www.gllm.ac.uk