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Big Schools Day at the Volvo Ocean Race

On 6 June, Keep Wales Tidy brought together secondary Eco-Schools from across the country for the Big Schools Day at the prestigious Volvo Ocean Race.  Over 300 students took part in the Senior Eco-Committee held in the NoFit State Circus tent within the Race Village, where they had the opportunity to hear from international speakers and participated in marine litter workshops.

The day aimed to raise awareness of marine litter, exploring different solutions while showcasing inspiring initiatives young people have developed around the world.

The agenda included “The Blowfish” – the only heavy metal marine biologist in the world and a video message from Kehkashan Basu, whose credits include the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council, Winner of the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize and Founder President of the Green Hope Foundation.

Hannah Blythyn, the Minister for Environment, met some of the children and said:

“It’s fantastic to see the range of activities taking place during the Big Schools Day. I hope the pupils have been inspired and will take what they’ve learnt back to their schools and communities. We all have a part to play in reducing litter and waste and this event is a prime example of Wales’ commitment to protect our marine environment through educating our future generations.”

Daniel Schaffer, CEO of FEE said;

“I’m delighted to be at the Keep Wales Tidy’s Big Schools Day celebrating the fantastic work undertaken by young people not just in Wales but across the globe. The Eco-Schools programme empowers young people within environmental topics and I hope pupils here today will be inspired to take further action against marine litter and continue to inspire others.”

Workshops took place by the Marine Conservation Society, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and the Volvo Ocean Race Education Team.

Keep Wales Tidy, the environmental charity which also runs the international Eco-Schools programme in Wales. More than 90% of schools are registered on the programme which aims to help pupils learn about sustainable living and global citizenship.

Lesley Jones, Chief Executive for Keep Wales Tidy said:

“Sustainability is such an important part of the Volvo Ocean Race, so there’s no better place to talk about marine litter and its devastating impact. We are thrilled to be here with so many Eco-Schools students, recognising the outstanding work they are carrying out both in their classrooms and local communities. This a great opportunity to celebrate their successes and explore ways we can work together to make a real and lasting difference to our marine environment.”