Caernarfon teacher wins competition to change career for a life outdoors

Tomos Gwynedd

Tomos Gwynedd from Caernarfon has been crowned winner of an S4C adventure series and will now work for the youth organisation Urdd Gobaith Cymru for a whole year as an outdoors adventure leader.


And Tomos, 24, has been congratulated by Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates, and hailed as an ambassador for Wales, by the project partners S4C, Sony Pictures Television, Cwmni Da, Urdd Gobaith Cymru and Welsh Sports Council.


Ken Skates AM said: “As we look forward to Year of Adventure 2016, I’m delighted that Ar Y Dibyn has found a worthy winner who will be such an advocate for what Wales has to offer as an adventure destination and will also inspire many children to try something new and take part in new adventures which will build their confidence and self-esteem.”


Ar y Dibyn (translation: On the Edge) saw eight daring contestants competing for a job as an adventure leader in an outdoor centre in Wales – an industry worth over £400 million to the Welsh economy each year.


The series was produced by Cwmni Da in Caernarfon in collaboration with Sony Pictures Television and S4C following a partnership formed by S4C with the international distributor (SPT) with the aim of developing formats that are promoted and sold on the international market.


After six gruelling weeks and after seeing the seven other contestants kicked-out of the competition, viewers tuned in to see Tomos, 24, win last night as he beat Hannah Hughes, also 24, from Caeathro in the final.


Tomos was a supply teacher before the start of the process and although he enjoyed his job, his dream was to lead and teach children out in the open.


“I really enjoyed taking part in the series,” said Tomos who’s a member of Felinheli football team and wants to specialise in climbing and mountaineering.  “And I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to experience the different activities.”


During the series the candidates had to prove themselves in a wide variety of outdoor activities – from sailing and canoeing to climbing, mountain biking and much more.


But it wasn’t just fitness under the scrutiny of the judges, adventure leader Dilwyn Sanderson-Jones and presenter, adventurer and the Welsh Government Adventure Ambassador for 2016, Lowri Morgan, as they were also looking for someone with the right personality and leadership skills to make it as an adventure leader.


Tomos has now started on his year-long position as an adventure leader at the Urdd’s Gwersyll Glan-Llyn outdoor education centre in Bala – an experience he’s making the most of.


Tomos said: “I love it. I’ve been on a few courses already – canoeing, kayaking and climbing – and it’s made me realise that this is what I want to in the long term. With more courses to come, I’ll hopefully have a few options at the end of the year.”


As well as working with the Urdd and the Sports Council for Wales to offer an attractive package to the winner of Ar y Dibyn, Cwmni Da also worked with Good Charity Challenge to offer an unforgettable trip for the winner to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.


But although he made through to the end of the competition, it wasn’t a fun and games according to Tomos.


“We spent a lot time together and when you saw someone else being eliminated from the competition, you could clearly see the disappointment on their faces. But it’s a competition at the end of the day and I’m so happy I won!”


Aled Davies, Ar y Dibyn producer for Cwmni Da said: “Tomos was a worthy winner for our first ever series of Ar y Dibyn and I’m sure he’ll be a great ambassador for outdoor adventure activities in Wales. As a TV company based in north west Wales we were blessed to have such a wide range of exciting and challenging activities all within an hour’s drive from our base in Caernarfon.”


Elen Rhys, S4C Content Commissioner for Entertainment, said: “Congratulations to Tomos for winning Ar y Dibyn. One of the great advantages of the partnership with Sony is to make the most of what the creative industries have to offer and to showcase Wales across the world, and there is no doubt that Ar y Dibyn has done just that “Good luck to Tomos in the future and we look forward to seeing this partnership with Sony Pictures Television go from strength to strength.”