A COLEG Gwent student has won a major political blogging competition for students in Wales and another has been named a merit winner.

Bethan Phillips, a government and politics AS Level student at the Crosskeys Campus, faced competition across Wales to come up with her winning entry examining the role of gender in politics in the 21st century.

The nationwide competition, open to 16-19 year olds, was launched by Welsh think tank Gorwel in partnership with the News Academy and Political Studies Association. Entrants had to pitch a completely new or different policy idea in the form of a blog.

Professor Russell Deacon, of Coleg Gwent, said: "Bethan’s blog was judged to be of exceptional quality and extremely thought-provoking by the panel of judges.

"Through her blog writing she was able to stimulate new insights into the whole issue of gender and politics. In doing so Bethan demonstrated that she is a writer of exceptional ability."

The aim of the blog competition was to "break down the barriers young people feel in not having any input into policies which have a direct impact on their lives".

Entries from schools and colleges across Wales were narrowed down to ten finalists from which the three judges selected the winner, runner-up and three merit winners.

One of the merit winners was another Coleg Gwent learner, Sophie Champion, from the Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone for her entry on the problems of transport for students in Tredegar.

All winning and runner up entries can be found at www.gorwel.co/wordpress/?p=1964.