A group of fifteen young people and their leaders from Contrexéville – Llandrindod Wells’s twin town in France – have recently completed a week’s visit to Mid Wales on a cultural exchange visit. The young people had organised their own detailed week of activities with assistance from the Llandrindod Wells & Area Twinning Association and the programme enabled them to meet and interact with young people from Llandrindod Wells and the German twin town Bad Rappenau.

The Contrexéville youth group with Councillor Jeff Green, Mayor of Llandrindod Wells and members of Llandrindod Twinning Association

The Contrexéville youth group with Councillor Jeff Green, Mayor of Llandrindod Wells and members of Llandrindod Twinning Association

The group members were greeted on their arrival by Llandrindod’s Mayor, Councillor Jeff Green. On their first day the French group met their new friends from Llandrindod and took part in group games together. Members of Llandrindod Golf Club also taught the young people golfing skills on the range and putting greens which everybody thoroughly enjoyed.

Ed Coady, Vice-chiarman of the Twinning Association, presents a prize to Adrien Meghez for winning the Golf Putting Competition

Ed Coady, Vice-chiarman of the Twinning Association, presents a prize to Adrien Meghez for winning the Golf Putting Competition

On their second day the groups took part in raft building and cycling activities in the Elan Valley where they were also able to greet thirty six youth visitors from Llandrindod’s German twin town Bad Rappenau who were staying at Elan Valley Lodge.

The following day the French and Welsh youth groups spent the morning learning about each other’s culinary traditions and prepared lunch together before meeting up with the Bad Rappenau group with visits to the Radnorshire Museum and National Cycle Collection in Llandrindod. In the evening all groups had great fun taking part in a Welsh Folk Dance workshop at the Dance Centre.

Welsh Folk Dance works

Welsh Folk Dance workshop at Llandrindod Dance Centre

The French youth group also enjoyed day visits to Aberystwyth, where they sampled fish and chips and games on the beach, and the Wales National History Museum at St Fagans, Cardiff where they were able to learn about the Welsh culture. For many of the young visitors this was their first trip to Britain which they thoroughly enjoyed. Jeff Green, the Mayor of Llandrindod Twinning, said that the visit proved a very positive vehicle to create friendship and understanding through the exchange of sport and cultural experiences. He hoped that young people from Llandrindod will be able to visit Contrexéville in the near future to consolidate the friendships forged during the stay of the French youth group

The visit was funded under the European Union Youth in Action Programme and was designed to develop a sense of responsibility, for participants to be more independent, to make new contacts, to brave the language barrier and to deepen cultural and tourist knowledge. Llandrindod Twinning Association wants to make twinning accessible to all sectors of the community and any local group wishing to make an exchange visit should contact the Association through its website https://llandrindodtwinning.wordpress.com/ or by phoning the Secretary on 01597 851614

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