A pupil from Brecon School has won a national competition to design a t-shirt – which will then be printed and sold for charity.
Six-year-old Sayami Rai, from Mount Street Nursery and Infant School, was announced as the worthy winner of the competition earlier this month. The competition, which was attended by schools across Wales, was organized by the UK’s Help for Heroes charity for armed forces and military veterans.
On Thursday, June 16, the “Hero Bear” made a special appearance at the school to present winner Sayami with the first-ever t-shirt fresh off the production line. The T-shirt displaying Sayami’s drawing (right picture) will now be printed and sold through the charity’s online store.
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The design competition was judged by former Royal Marine James Cobby. To decide the winner, James was presented with five shortlisted models from across the country. Sayami’s design caught James’ attention due to its use of bright colors and the happiness he felt. The word ‘ysbrydoli’ adorns the t-shirt, which means ‘to inspire’ in Welsh.
The story of the birth of the competition begins last year, when a team of six veterans representing Wales won the Help for Heroes National Virtual Spring Games. The team had a great time together, stayed in touch and decided to take on another challenge this year. The squad includes West Sussex-based James, who came to fill the void left by a last-minute withdrawal and has been considered an honorary Welshman ever since.
It was decided that the next challenge they would undertake would be to climb Pen y Fan. At 886m, the Brecon Beacons peak is the highest in South Wales.
The design competition was held so that veterans could wear the T-shirt while climbing the mountain and also have a unique souvenir to mark the occasion.
The day before the school visit, June 15, James, who is in a full-time wheelchair, and the veterans climbed the mountain, with a team of staff and supporters. The team wore Sayami’s T-shirt for the climb – which was aptly called “Operation Ysbrydoli”.
One of the organizers, Sport, Activity & Fellowship Lead at Help for Heroes, Nick Vanderpump, said: “There was such a great spirit within the team that they decided to take on a new challenge together and, with the benefit of an all-terrain wheelchair – and his fabulous support team – James will once again be at the forefront. They’re all such good friends now, it’s heartwarming.
“The idea of the climb is not to raise funds, but to demonstrate the value of camaraderie and personal goal setting for veterans on their journey to recovery. And this concept is a central tenet of what we do at Help for Heroes.
Jennie Rumble, Veteran’s Clinical Services Project Manager at Help for Heroes, added: “Everyone who meets James is inspired by him and what he continues to achieve.
“Sayami’s design was perfect and reflected everything Help for Heroes is.”