Barry schoolgirl to become a UK ambassador in Japan
A BARRY schoolgirl is all set to become a UK and European Union ambassador in Japan - accompanied by mum while dad makes do with takeaway at home!
Former Colcot primary pupil Leah Ellis-Roberts and mum Susan Ellis will jet off to Kyoto in the Far East after the then year ten pupil won a UK-wide school Panasonic Eco-Diary competition by completing a half-term project which caught the judges' eyes.
The now year 7 Bryn Hafren pupil scooped a 40" television set for her former school, a professional art set and certificate for herself.
She will be one of the European Union member state school pupil contingent to engage in a presentation and take part in the world finals staged by technology gurus Panasonic on their home territory on November 6.
The all-expenses paid trip will last four days.
But while Leah, an eco committee member last school year, and Susan take in Japan's sights next month, dad Stephen 'Snowy' Roberts will wallow and indulge in sushi and saki in Barry.
Eleven-year-old Leah said her winning words and diagrams - which had taken her a week to complete - had focused on saving energy, water, planting trees, pollution and the mantra of reducing, reusing and recycling and she had been surprised and happy when she discovered she had won.
Dad Snowy said Colcot's deputy head teacher had told them of Leah's win, but they had had to keep the exact details of the prize secret until a final assembly.
He said: "We are proud of her representing the UK."
Susan, 47, said: "We tried to keep it to ourselves, but it was so hard.
"I don't even win an argument.
"Things like this don't happen to people like us.
"We are really looking forward to going."
Leah's winning work this summer went on public display at the Eisteddfod in Llandow and Leah and Susan are taking some small Barry, Wales and UK themed gifts to thank their Panasonic hosts.
Deputy headteacher Mark Ellis said the school was extremely proud of Leah's achievement and that the school had established a link with Panasonic through the Eco-Council and the children decided to place the competition as one of their priorities for the year.
He said: "Children from Year 3 to 6 took part in the Eco-Diary competition and this involved learning about the environment and completing written and art work based on environmental issues and the ways that we can help out.
"The standard within the entire school was extremely high and Leah along with three other children were selected to represent Wales in the national finals.
"These three children were awarded runners up prizes and each received an art set.
"We are so proud of Leah and all of the children who entered the competition and we hope she has an amazing time in Japan.
"We have forged very strong links with Panasonic and will definitely be entering the competition again next year."