Mum of little Welsh girl that melted the nation's heart on TV 'overjoyed' at amazing response

-Credit: (Image: Lynne Davies)
-Credit: (Image: Lynne Davies)


The mum of a 10-year-old girl who melted the heart of the nation following her brilliant interview on S4C has shared what it meant to the family after she won a competition. Ruby Davies from Ysgol Gynradd Gymunedol Swiss Valley in Llanelli won the individual recitation competition for Year 5 and 6 Welsh learners at this year's Eisteddfod yr Urdd in Meifod, Powys.

The cultural festival sees children and young people from the ages of eight to 25 compete in various arts and literature competition. This year, young talent turned up their thousands for the Urdd Eisteddfod, including Ruby. Following her win, the young star was interviewed by presenter Mari Lovgreen - a video of the interview has made the rounds on social media, with many people applauding and congratulating Ruby for her positive and lively presence on stage.

After receiving overwhelming response, her mum Lynne Davies has spoken to WalesOnline about her daughter's success on the Maes and how she got there. According to Lynne, Ruby had her sight on a win at the Eisteddfod last year thanks to her school's headmistress Mrs Jo Davies.

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"The school got a new headmistress last year, Mrs Davies," Lynne explained. "She asked if any of the pupils would want to compete at the Eisteddfod. This would be the first year the school would compete at the festival."

According to Lynne, Ruby jumped at the chance and said that she wanted to compete in a recitation competition. “The school said that if a pupil could learn all the lines then they would put them through," Lynne explained. "So that’s what Ruby did - she learnt all her lines for this poem. She’s quite an animated person anyway, so while she was practising with me, she put on quite the show. When she performed the recitation in front of the school, she did it exactly like that."

10-year-old Ruby with her mum Lynne and dad Tristan have supported their daughter ahead of her competition on the national stage -Credit:Lynne Davies
10-year-old Ruby with her mum Lynne and dad Tristan have supported their daughter ahead of her competition on the national stage -Credit:Lynne Davies

The school then entered Ruby into the competition. But sadly, Ruby fell ill on the morning of the competition. Alongside her class mates, Ruby was set to travel to Eisteddfod yr Urdd, which was taking place in nearby Llandovery in Carmarthenshire.

“Ruby was really ill and vomiting, which was unlike her," Lynne said. “On the morning she was supposed to go, she was still ill. She asked me: 'Mam, what time is it?', and I told her. And she said: 'We’ve still got time to catch the bus', but sadly I couldn’t let her go because she was poorly. She was really, really devastated."

Having missed what would have been her first Eisteddfod yr Urdd, Ruby was even more determined to take part in the festival when it came back around during this May’s half term over in Meifod, Powys. For the latest Carmarthenshire news, sign up to our newsletter here.

Little Ruby has melted the heart of the nation following her brilliant interview on S4C at Urdd Eisteddfod -Credit:Lynne Davies
Little Ruby has melted the heart of the nation following her brilliant interview on S4C at Urdd Eisteddfod -Credit:Lynne Davies

"This time round, Ruby learnt the poem in 24 hours," Lynne explained. "She was entered there and then. When she was practising the poem, we got a translation for her so she could understand the words and know how to react or act during the lines. We wanted to make sure that she was reciting it correctly.

"She formed all these actions for every line. During the prelim ahead of the final competition, I was watching the other children competing in the competition doing their bit and noticed some of them weren't doing any actions. I was starting to worry that perhaps Ruby wasn't meant to do anything and just stand still. But she just went for it.

"People then asked me: 'Who coached her?', and I told them: 'No one, that's how she is, she's dramatic'. She did the performance with all the actions and just really enjoyed it. She did get nervous before going on the main stage for the final competition - she does get nervous at times, but she doesn't let the nerves get the better of her. And this time round, she dealt with them well. She loves to be out there and she loves to perform".

Ruby with her mum Lynne, who explained that her daughter couldn't compete at her first Eisteddfod after falling ill -Credit:Lynne Davies
Ruby with her mum Lynne, who explained that her daughter couldn't compete at her first Eisteddfod after falling ill -Credit:Lynne Davies

Not only did Ruby get to compete this time round, but the 10-year-old came first in the individual recitation competition for Year 5 and 6 Welsh learners. Nineteen competitors had reached the national level in this competition, but Ruby came out on top after impressing the judges.

After finding out she had won the competition, Ruby was interviewed by Mari Lovgreen in front of a crowd of people on the Maes, which included her teachers and her family. A video of Ruby, who could hardly contain her excitement following her win, has made the rounds on social media - with many applauding the little star for her positive and heart-warming energy on the stage.

"I'm so happy," she said. The presenter then congratulated the young star in Welsh. Ruby continued: "I love performing as well". Mari replied: "Well, you're very good at it". In response, Ruby agreed and said: "Yes, I am", which received some cheers and laughter from the crowd.

10-year-old Ruby is looking forward to her next Eisteddfod yr Urdd -Credit:Lynne Davies
10-year-old Ruby is looking forward to her next Eisteddfod yr Urdd -Credit:Lynne Davies

Following her win and iconic interview, Lynne said that the family were "overjoyed" by people's messages and response to Ruby. "I told her: 'Just being here is enough'," Lynne said. "But to win is just the cherry on top. She's had to many messages from different people and it's so lovely to see people's responses."

Could this be the beginning of Ruby’s glittering career on stage? It could well be, according to her mum. Lynne said: "In the words of Ruby Davies: 'Eisteddfod can't come quick enough'. She wants to sing, to dance and recite." But Lynne hopes that her daughter's experience on stage can also encourage others to take part in the Eisteddfod.

She said: "Ruby is learning Welsh and I know tipyn bach o Gymraeg [a little bit of Welsh]. Through this poem, she's learnt a lot more. We went shopping the other day and just noticed one of the words from the poem and began reciting it again. I think it just goes to show that you can have fun with learning the language.

"I hope this shows as well that the Eisteddfod is not just for first language Welsh speakers, that there's space for learners too. It's open to everybody - you can take part, you can compete and you can win."