Conwy coach leads women’s football revolution in North Wales
Women and Girls
15 November 2013

Conwy coach leads women’s football revolution in North Wales

Vauxhall scheme supporting the next generation

Vauxhall scheme supporting the next generation



A coach from Conwy is changing the face of women’s football across North Wales thanks to a scheme from the Football Association of Wales. Chris Thompson, 29, of Kick It Sports Coaching, is aiming to help girls get involved with football with the aid of funding from the FAW and Vauxhall Fun Football Programme.

With the first major football tournament taking place in Wales over the summer – the UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship – the emphasis has been placed on increasing participation from girls and disabled children in particular. To aid this, clubs can now apply for investment of up to £3,000 from the FAW to kick-start their project.

Chris, originally from Wigan and currently residing in Conwy, said: “I studied Sports Science at Bangor University and graduated in 2005. When I graduated, I had the idea of setting up my own sports coaching company and I started planning it in November 2005. By April 2006, Kick It Sports Coaching was in operation.”

Kick It Sports Coaching runs after school coaching across North Wales as well as multi sports sessions and employs 35 part time football coaches as well as other coaches involved in both football and multi sports. In the past year, Kick It has been responsible for coaching more than 27,000 children in both football and multi sports.

As part of the FAW and national team sponsor Vauxhall’s commitment to grassroots football, the Fun Football Programme has offered grants to several football programmes across Wales to develop and aid soccer schools. The accredited scheme is targeted at increasing participation in football for children of all abilities in a safe learning environment. The term “fun football” is recognised by UEFA and is endorsed as a grass roots development initiative

Chris said: “The women’s football scene in North Wales is hugely spread out with girls playing in Anglesey, Bangor and Gwynedd so I want to bring them all together. I’m the head of the North Wales Girls Performance Centre and have been for two years. We have teams at age levels from under 12, 14 and 16.” With the help of the FAW investment, Chris is in the process of setting up a girls initiative which will start in September and continue the theme from the UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship.

Chris said: “Through the North Wales performance centre, I’ve seen a steady increase of girls coming into the training and getting involved with teams. I want to capitalise on this in September and get more and more girls involved with football.”

Kick It plans to link up with Colwyn Bay Football Club as well as running centres across the North Wales. Chris said: “We start the sessions from September 2013 and by September 2014, Colwyn Bay will have girls youth teams set up under their banner. Using the initiative, we will set up teams with Colwyn Bay for girls under 10, 12, 14 and 16. We will also be looking to hold girls sessions in Caernarfon, Denbighshire and Rhyl as well hosting roadshows in Anglesey, Porthmadog and Wrexham to get girls down and involved with taster sessions for free.”

Ian Gwyn Hughes, Head of Public Affairs at the FAW, said: “Following a fantastic season for Welsh football on many fronts, it was great to host the UEFA championship. The stars of that tournament all started somewhere and the emphasis of the Fun Football programme really is about encouraging more and more youngsters to get off the sofa and play football."

Vauxhall Head of Sponsorship, Chris Hornbuckle said: “We are very excited about playing our part in the Fun Football Programme. From the beginning of our sponsorship we have been committed to supporting football from the grass roots through to the national senior team and it is vitally important for the future of the game in Wales that we support the young talent with such opportunities.”

Kick it Sports Coaching will be running football and multisports camps across North Wales with special camps in Llanberis and Silver Bay Holiday Park. The FAW backed scheme started in September.

Conwy coach leads women’s football revolution in North Wales
Conwy coach leads women’s football revolution in North Wales
Conwy coach leads women’s football revolution in North Wales
Conwy coach leads women’s football revolution in North Wales
Conwy coach leads women’s football revolution in North Wales
Conwy coach leads women’s football revolution in North Wales
Conwy coach leads women’s football revolution in North Wales
Conwy coach leads women’s football revolution in North Wales