Welsh Football is in great shape
Welsh Football bosses say the game is in Great Shape.
With just one month to go before Euro 2016, Wales football bosses today announced that the game is flourishing at all levels.
The FAW Trust – the charitable arm of the FAW that is responsible for the development of football in Wales – today revealed:
• More people in Wales are playing football than ever before
• The number of boys playing extracurricular football has increased by more than 15% over the last five years
• The number of girls participating in extracurricular football has increased by 7% over the last five years
Since 2004, its disability programme has seen players increase from 100
in just three clubs to almost 900 players across 26 clubs
recognises Wales as being a world leader in coach education, being the
first country to introduce online learning in a bid to encourage more
coaches and volunteers into the game
Neil Ward, CEO of the FAW Trust, explained:
success of the national teams can be attributed to a production line of
talented players being developed by the Trust. But, of course, it's not
just about national teams. We are ambitious about building a better
future for football and want to see 50% of all Welsh children playing at
least once a week by 2024. We are committed to making football as
flexible as possible so that we fit in with people's busy lives. There
are those who are turned off by a nine month football season,
particularly if we have bad weather. And that's why we've introduced
shorter and sharper versions of the game such as futsal and the FAW
Cwpan y Bobl five a side competition," adds Ward.
very proud of the work we are doing to increase the number of women and
girls playing – in recent years, we set up a national league and
regional performance structure. There will always be girls who want to
play football and won't need any persuading but for others we are
introducing creative, diverse offers – for example, we've created
Beatball which puts football to music. We've got to try new things if we
want to see a significant improvement in our participation numbers.
That's something Sport Wales have been very supportive of", added Ward.
work of the FAW Trust has been recognised by the UEFA Grassroots
Charter which benchmarks grassroots programmes and development. It ranks
Wales as one of only 11 countries in Europe, on its highest rung.
Ian Rush is among those their support behind the work of the FAW Trust:
success of the national team is mirrored by the progress being made at
the grassroots level. The FAW Trust and its partners are working hard to
extend the reach of football and to grow the game - and they are
succeeding. The increased numbers of boys and girls playing the game
speak for themselves."
Jonathan Ford, CEO of the Football Association of Wales, said:
we now enter the final countdown for Euro 2016, it's important we
celebrate the achievements at all levels of the game. Major progress has
been made in increasing the numbers of children playing football in
Wales and, for that, the FAW Trust should be applauded. It's crucial we
continue to see investment into the grassroots game if we are to build a
better future for football in Wales."
Sarah Powell, Chief Executive of Sport Wales
the senior team are participating at Euro 2016, the work on the
community game continues to provide a solid basis for the next
generation. There has been a passion to look at different forms of the
game, increasing access for those who haven't played before and looking
at the structure and workforce needed to support the future of football
in Wales. These are vitally important if we are going to continue
growing participations levels. Having all these elements in place means
that Wales is well-placed to take advantage of the interest and
enthusiasm that the Euros will generate and continue to produce players,
coaches and managers like Gareth Bale, Chris Coleman, Jayne Ludlow and
But despite the progress, the FAW Trust claims there is still much to achieve:
is making a huge contribution to national levels of physical activity
and people being hooked on sport for life. Through the Sport Wales
School Sport Survey, boys and girls have told us they want to play more
football and the protection of investment in facilities is vital to
achieve this," explains Ward.
"We know that the public
sector is facing huge budget challenges but we need pitches in Wales to
remain open, be maintained and be affordable. And we need more schools
to open their facilities to the community – not only so that the game of
football can flourish but so that our children have the opportunity to
be physically active and healthy."
For more information, please contact Jane Thomas on 07967 351 827
Posted: Tuesday 10th May 2016