Throughout season 14/15 great work was done in the West Wales Region in an attempt to ensure that a viable and sustainable disability football league structure is in place for the long term future. By today, the league has its own committee and constitution and are taking responsibility for their future existence. The league have now become key partners in ensuring the Welsh Football Trust meet their target 4 objective of 1500 registered players with a disability by 2024.
The league commenced on a challenging adventure at the start of September 2014. There was a fresh, ‘steely’ determination by the newly appointed league secretary (Lyn Brodrick) to establish a committee despite several failed attempts in the past. She was strongly supported by the Welsh Football Trust, Disability Sport Wales officers and the West Wales FA via Gareth Williams, all of which helped to establish a league that will provide good and regular playing opportunities for players with disabilities across the Region. A number of changes occurred during season 14/15 which included establishing an indoor futsal league during the winter months at various locations throughout West Wales and a recruitment drive for new committee members. The recruitment drive included working with the focus colleges to identify suitable personnel. These changes undoubtedly contributed to the increase of 52 new players within the league structure and a fully formed league committee with its own constitution and bank account. The hard work undertaken during the 14/15 season has set the league up to thrive for future years under the guidance of its own committee and Area Association.
In moving forward the league has agreed to the service level agreement offered to them from the Welsh Football Trust. The league secretary Lyn Brodrick states “hopefully the support of Welsh Football Trust and the West Wales PAN Disability Football League provided to clubs can enhance and develop experiences for those with disabilities within the region and this will result in an increase in engaged young people in sport”. The major focus of work for season 15/16 for the league is in Neath/Port Talbot in particular at the junior age group. The aim is to develop an exit route from school to a regular club based activity that engages with the league at periodical times. Some of the targets stated include engaging with 20 new players and some new volunteers. The long term aim is to encourage regular transition into the league structure.
In addition to securing the service level agreement via the Welsh Football Trust the league has been successful in applying for a Swansea Aid bid which has granted them £2000, a further £500 from the Welsh Football Trust National pot of finance and it is anticipated a £1500 community Chest grant from Neath/Port Talbot panel for the development of the new club within their area. Deb Wise (former Inclusion Officer for West Wales and current Partnership Manager) states “there are some great people at the helm and the future is looking bright for the West Wales PAN Disability Football League”.