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Award for unsung hero Tirion

A teenager who has almost single-handedly developed women and girls’ rugby in the Bala area has been named as BBC Wales’ Unsung Hero for 2020.

Nineteen-year-old Tirion Thomas started by setting up a female rugby side when she attended Ysgol y Berwyn, and now coaches three different age groups for girls at Clwb y Bala. 

Despite the many challenges 2020 has brought, Tirion has continued to be a role model for other young people, selflessly giving up her time to help others enjoy sport while also studying Midwifery at Swansea University. During the last year she has also turned her attention to helping fellow coaches by creating a young coaches’ network.


Thrilled with her award, Tirion said: “Receiving this award is an absolute privilege and I am so grateful! Although I didn’t need or expect this award, being a coach and volunteering is something I enjoy and thrive off and an award like this makes it that little bit more worth it, helping me recognise that what I do is working and having that positive effect on others!”

Tirion is also a key figure driving forward the Young Ambassador Programme in Wales, which is supported by the Youth Sport Trust and funded by Sport Wales. She first became involved with the programme three years ago, soon progressing through the ranks to become a Platinum Young Ambassador, and was recently appointed onto the National Young Ambassador Steering Group for Wales. 

Sport Wales and the Youth Sport Trust are extremely proud of Tirion’s achievements.

Aled Davies, Development Officer for the Youth Sport Trust, said: “Tirion is the perfect example of the impact Young Ambassadors are having across Wales. She demonstrates the care and compassion Young Ambassadors have for young people in their community, delivering sporting sessions and opportunities that help these young people develop their physical and social skills in a safe and positive environment.”

Claire Ewing, Governance and People Development Officer at Sport Wales, added: “Young Ambassadors have been a shining light over the last year. They have been wonderfully creative, shown tremendous resilience and have played an important role in their communities’ safe return to activity. Tirion’s story of 2020 is an inspiration to the Young Ambassador family and the wider sports sector.”

The Young Ambassador scheme was first introduced in Wales in 2010 as a legacy of the successful bid to host the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Since then, the programme has empowered an estimated 19,000 Young Ambassadors as role models who encourage others to share their love of sport, developing a generation of well-rounded young leaders. 


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