Copyright 2001 IC Wales

[ October 25th 2001 ]

A Lara Croft lookalike, brandishing wellingtons instead of guns, is the latest weapon in the National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs' battle to improve its image and attract new members.

By adapting the sexy computer game and film character, the YFC hopes it can dispel the usual myths about its organisation, as well as the belief that only farmers can join. It also hopes the initiative will make young people everywhere aware of the social activities, travel and support services it offers.

Members believe the cool icon will help explode some preconceived ideas about the countryside generation, proving they are just as sophisticated as their urban counterparts. Lowri Jones, YFC Wales chief executive, said, "Lara Croft was picked by our members because she is very popular, she represents young people in 2001. They are keen to point out that there's another side to rural areas that is innovative, dramatic and modern."

She felt this was a particularly important message to promote in the wake of the foot-and-mouth outbreak. "Young people remain positive and full of hope in rural areas," she said.

The federation, which has almost 25,000 members aged between 10 and 26 across the UK, has also been organising meetings between its Welsh members and the National Assembly to make sure decisionmakers understand issues affecting young people living in the countryside.

Ms Jones said, "Isolation is a huge problem and the main aim is to en-sure young people are not isolated and do not miss out on the opportunities they have today."

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