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23 May 2012
Before even coaching his first game for Wales, Chris Coleman has set his sights on his first goal - to learn Welsh.
The Welsh football coach, who was newly appointed as Wales’ manager in January, will work with the University’s Welsh for Adults Centre to develop his language skills.
Chris Coleman said: "I travel around Wales a lot and meet many Welsh speakers. I would love to be able to converse with others the best I can through the medium of Welsh and am very much looking forward to singing the Welsh National Anthem in New York before the game against Mexico and also being able to be interviewed in Welsh in the future."
The Welsh coach will be attending weekly lessons with Geoff Wright, an experienced tutor from the Welsh for Adults Centre, based in the University’s School of Welsh. Mr Wright said: "I feel very pleased to be able to teach Welsh to Mr Coleman and I have to say that his pronunciation is excellent even after the first lesson!"
Chris Coleman is originally from Swansea but hasn’t had a Welsh lesson since he was 12 years old. He said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my first Welsh lesson in years and I’m very much looking forward to learning the language of Wales. Also, I have recently been doing a lot of research into the history of the country, which I find extremely interesting".
Jarmo Matikainen, the Welsh Women’s team coach has also been having Welsh lessons with Geoff Wright. Mr Matikainen, who’s originally from Finland said: "A lot of the coaching staff and some of the players speak Welsh and I feel like it’s very important for me to be able to communicate with them in their mother tongue".
A spokesperson for the Football Association of Wales (FAW) said: "The FAW is delighted that both Chris and Jaarmo are learning Welsh. We have a firm commitment to the language through our website, our quarterly bilingual magazine the Voice and our presence at both the Urdd and National Eisteddfod."
The Welsh for Adults Centre hold Welsh courses all over Cardiff and the Vale for people wanting to learn all levels of Welsh.
To find more information about learning Welsh with the Welsh for Adults Centre, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, please visit www.learnwelsh.co.uk or call 029 20 874 710
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Welsh for Adults Centre - http://www.cf.ac.uk/learnwelsh/
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