How Welsh Football came together for its communities during the Covid-19 lockdown
Grassroots
29 May 2020

How Welsh Football came together for its communities during the Covid-19 lockdown

By Dan Cope

Here's where you will find good news stories about the great things the Welsh football family did for communities, across the country, during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Island Marine FC

Island Marine set a challenge of running 500 miles in 7 days to raise money for the Barry Ambulance Service as a way of “saying thank you to the NHS.

First team coach Neil Owens said: “We started on Sunday 3 May and we didn't know how the boys would react but the response was amazing. The more the days past and the boys were posting videos and photos on social media the more the club wanted to get involved."

Island Marine ended up running 1,044 miles and riding 240 miles on bikes as well as raising £3,500, across the seven days, with teams ranging from the U6 all the way through to seniors getting involved.

Under 9 player Colby James ran three-and-a-half miles around Maslin Park, the club's home pitch, and raised £200. Owens added: “It was a club effort and a really inspiring week as well as good work from the boys”.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE CLUB'S VIDEO

Bow Street FC

Bow Street FC are attempting to walk/run/cycle 24,860 miles in 70 days. 24,860 miles is the equivalent to going around the world once, in time for the start of their 2020 Junior Tournament.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE A LOOK

So far during the challenge, the Magpies have covered over 10,000 miles.

A group has been set up on Strava, where senior and junior players, coaches, committee members and supporters have been working hard to reach their goal. So far we’ve had players from our u8’s all the way up to our Chairman getting involved as well as actor, Matthew Rhys, showing his support.

A JustGiving page has been set up, and money raised during this challenge will be split between the club and charities.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Evans & Williams FC

Buckley Town

PONTYPRIDD FCDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, Pontypridd FC have shown support and solidarity with key workers serving RCT with two separate donations.
Pontypridd FC senior team players decided to donate their player's fines pot accumulated during the 2019/20 season, with the money going to the NHS. With additional contributions from players, coaches and club committee members, a donation of £600 on behalf of the football club was made to Cwm Taf Morgannwg NHS Board.
The club have also worked together with another local football club Pontypridd Town Juniors to donate 180 easter eggs to key workers. Both clubs donated their Easter eggs this year to the families of frontline staff. The donation was made to RCT Refuse and Recycling staff whose work benefits our communities every day.
Pontypridd FC chairman Nigel Wheeler said: "The whole country is in an awful situation and as a club we want to support all key workers. Whilst we are a small club our two initiatives are our way of saying thank you to workers in our local services."
"I am incredibly proud of the players at the club, who made the decision to donate and sacrifice funds towards their end of season celebrations for the benefit of others."
"A special mention and thanks too for Louisa Hayhurst at Pontypridd Town Juniors and their young players for teaming up with us on the easter eggs donation."

Brymbo Lodge

Brymbo Lodge YFC have set themselves a 5km challenge as they aim to raise money for the NHS during the COVID -19 pandemic.
The club has set a 5km Challenge which involves club members taking part in a variety of challenges, whether that be walking, running or cycling, and must complete 5km in their respective challenge.
Once they complete their challenge, they donate £5 to the NHS.
Speaking about the challenges, club official Kieran Howard said: “It started with the coaches who posted on our managers group every time they completed the distance and donated and Martin Jones and Aled Jones must take a lot of credit for getting things moving.”
He added: “Now we are asking players and their parents to take the small challenge on. It gets them together as a family and gives them an incentive to do something good in making a small donation to the NHS.”
“It just makes us feel as a club we are doing our part.”

Tylorstown FC

Tylorstown FC have raised money for Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB’s Charitable Fund after the hospital took care of one of the club’s own.
Recently, Tylorstown player, Josh McLean, was admitted to the hospital after testing positive for Covid-19. To say `thank you’ to everyone who had taken care of McLean, the club decided to run 300 miles in a week, as a group, to raise money for the NHS charity.
That challenge reached its conclusion a few days ago, and the club smashed their fundraising target of £400 and broke the 300 miles target as well.
The club’s head of media communications, Tomos Oakley said: “It was a tough challenge, but nothing as tough as what Josh or the NHS staff have had to endure.”
The club received some more positive news when it was announced that McLean had beaten Coronavirus and had been discharged from hospital.

Undy AFC

Undy AFC have been putting in a lot of hard work over the last couple of weeks to help raise funds for the NHS staff and workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Club official, Karl Luton, who has been the brains behind the fundraising operations, ran scratch cards for people to win signed football merchandise, which include a signed England jersey from World Cup winning goalkeeper, Gordon Banks. Each ticket cost a minimum of £5 with all donations going towards supplies for Undy’s District Nurses and Welsh Ambulance.

In the meantime, Luton was also busy delivering food and drink to organisations including; Newport District Nurses, Magor Pharmacy, Magor Surgery, Magor Coop, Magor Post Office, and Community Mental Health Team, courtesy of Undy as well as collecting McDonalds Fun Activity books for children which were donated to local schools .

A lockdown raffle was also organised by the club on April 25. Prizes that were donated include food and alcohol hampers, gift vouchers, gift sets and an UNDY AFC 2020/2021 season ticket for next season’s campaign.

So far, the club have raised an astonishing £1,700 and expect to exceed that.

Clarbeston Road

As we all adapt to living through the current pandemic, football clubs, up and down the country, are looking at different ways of getting through these dark times.

One of those football teams is Clarbeston Road AFC, whose initiative ‘60 Miles a day for 19 days’ hopes to raise money for themselves and the NHS.

The pandemic is causing financial difficulty, which could end in the collapse of clubs all over Wales.

But, through this initiative, the Pembrokeshire based side hope to create revenue through the challenge that would benefit themselves and the NHS.

Chairman Steve Brown said: “We briefed our members on the financial challenges we are facing as a club and asked them to think of fundraising ideas to help us through the current difficulties.

“Our senior players decided to help by coming up with what they have called the “60 miles a day for 19 days challenge. They were also keen to help the NHS. Collectively, they will run 60 miles a day for the next 19 days with the proceeds from sponsorship being split equally between the club and the local NHS charities.

“The 60 miles target was chosen because the 2020-21 season will be our 60th anniversary as a club with the 19 days coming from ‘Covid19’. After only 2 days, the group has already run a combined total of 185 miles and our online local giving fundraising page has already attracted 27 donations giving £455 plus gift aid.

“Through this we have been able to raise a total of £542.50 so far which will be split between the club and the NHS. We are now direct mailing our members using Mail Chimp and we are posting daily updates on Facebook throughout the challenge.

“Given the competing initiatives from charities generally at this time we are delighted with the success of this one so far”.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Monmouth Town

With clubs across Wales taking part in donating and raising money for the NHS, as it battles COVID-19, Monmouthshire local, Mitchell Palmer decided to help the cause by organising a charity quiz.

Palmer, who helps organise events at Monmouth Town FC, had to think of something to replace the singing bingo (SINGO) event that was cancelled and came up with an online virtual quiz to help raise funds for the NHS.

The quiz was played on Facebook Live, so it was easier for people to take part in, with club members and locals from Monmouth all taking part and donating.

Speaking about his idea, Palmer said: “The charity element came into it from the NHS “clap for carers” initiative as I felt I could do more than that by making some money, so we set out to get £250 to do our bit.”

Palmer and the club achieved their goal and have since raised an outstanding £1749.49.

AFC Whitchurch

Teams of all ages from AFC Whitchurch have raised money for essential items, which will be donated to medical facilities around Cardiff.

The teams clubbed together to raise £1,650, which will help buy essential items for staff and patients.

These donations will be given to the Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, the Velindre Cancer Centre and Maggie’s Cardiff, which is a centre that cares for people with cancer.

The items were delivered across Cardiff on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. 

Llantwit Major

After a mindless attack of vandalism to their stand and seating area, Llantwit Major FC had started raising money to rebuild them.

Now they’ve decided that hard-earned money is needed more elsewhere.

In the wake of their Windmill Lane ground being devastated by vandals, the club have been generous enough to donate funds raised to fix the damaged seats to the NHS.

A club statement read: “We’ve received a number of very generous offers to help out financially with the costs of repairing this vandalism to the stadium.

"Instead, we would like to take this sad situation and turn it into a positive by raising money for the NHS heroes who are currently battling COVID-19.

"Any and all money we raise will be donated directly to the NHS with not a penny taken by the football club."

 

The club has set up a Justgiving donations page and have raised hundreds of pounds, so far, for the NHS.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Amlwch Girls

Congratulations to the Amlwch Juniors Girls who raised £1,300 for the NHS by walking 127.7 miles, between them.

Great work! 

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CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Kidwelly Town

Kidwelly Town AFC are holding a 24-hour “Big Garden Run” on Saturday, April 25, to raise money for the club’s local hospital.

The event, which was helped organised by Gareth Evans, will see players and club members running a relay in their back gardens over the 24 hour period.

The players will be using Strava to record the event and will upload videos to Twitter throughout it.

The club has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for League Of Friends Glangwili Hospital.

The hospital raises money through coffee mornings, collections and selling second hand books.

They also receive legacies and donations in lieu of flowers from families on the death of their loved ones and use those donations to purchase additional equipment for Glangwili Hospital.

So far the club has raised an outstanding £1,130 for the hospital to support workers battling COVID-19.

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CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Cilgerran Rovers

During these uncertain times, many people are in need of ways to stay active and to help raise people’s spirits.

But one nine-year-old football lover, from Cardigan, is spreading positivity on social media by posting videos of his goals in the garden.

Cilgerran Rovers player Trystan Beard was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 18-months-old, after being born nine weeks early.

At 14-months-old, the boy from Cardigan, was hospitalised with double pneumonia which led to him spending two weeks in an induced coma.

But, after years of intense physio, Trystan, who is now able to walk with the help of a frame is enjoying the buzz of scoring goals and sharing them on social media. 

As a result of Trystan’s Cerebral Palsy, medical professionals advised him to stay home for 12 weeks, so scoring goals is his way of keeping active. 

Dad Tom said: “This came about because Trystan and his sister were doing some exercises indoors, so we thought we’d try and encourage others too by showing pictures and creating the hashtag #TeamTrystanFitChallenge

“We’ve had quite a few people get involved, plus a lot of views and likes on some of the videos online.”

The family originally set-up the “Trystan’s Goal 4 Glory” fundraising page which aimed to raise £40,000 for a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) operation.

The operation would be used to improve spasticity in cerebral palsy and will allow the Ysgol Cilgerran pupil to be able to walk on his own.

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So far, the campaign has raised £60,000.

Trystan was supposed to have the operation in January but he suffered an allergic reaction, which caused lung difficulties and led to him entering intensive care.

He has since recovered and the family are awaiting results ahead of a potential second attempt at the operation. 

Tom said: “Trystan is a really active person and has been missing his friends and family, so this is another way for all of these to see his progress.”

“The aim of the campaign is that if we can put smiles on faces and get people active then we’ve done something positive and that’s exactly what is needed right now.”

CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO TRYSTAN'S GOAL FOR GLORY

Pontypridd Town

Pontypridd Town FC have raised money for NHS workers by uploading a video of their lip-synching Tom Jones’ classic tune “Green Grass of Home” online.
The video involves players and staff wearing humorous clothing accessories such as big sunglasses and sombreros as well as one player using a golf club as a microphone.
The joyful video resulted in The Dragons raising over £500 to provide NHS staff with safety visors as they continue to save lives during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Anna Williams, a Graphic Communications graduate from The University of South Wales, who now works at the club, said: “The idea was to boost awareness of the importance of staying home, while also raising essential funds for the NHS.”
She added: “ We used the classic Tom Jones song to get our message across, as the song isvnot only fitting for the message we wanted to share, but he is a Pontypridd legend.”

RTB EBBW VALE FC

RTB Ebbw Vale FC are a junior football club at the epicentre of Wales' Covid-19 outbreak and their players were desperate to help staff and patients at their local hospital. 

When football was suspended the Blaenau Gwent club informed parents that monthly contributions were no longer required. 

But the caring parents and volunteers hit upon the idea of putting that money towards the people in their community who are in such desperate need. 

First the U9 team decided to raise money for for the nearby Aneurin Bevan hospital, then the U6 and U7 teams followed suit.

The club’s hard-working volunteers then pooled these donations to create hampers filled with shower gels, shampoo, puzzle books and a range of treats.

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The club's parents had also bought Easter eggs for the players, but decided to donate these to the staff at the hospital.

The Ebbw Ward staff were so delighted by the gesture, they wrote a letter back, which said: "All the nurses on Ebbw Ward at Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan want to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU on behalf of the patients for the wonderful basket of goodies and Easter eggs you kindly donated. 

"It brightened up their day and you have made a difference.

"We are so lucky to have children like you in our community. Each and every one of you are stars."

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The club’s senior teams have also collected a large amount of food for the Trussel Trust food bank.

A club spokesman said: “In a time where we feel our hands are somewhat tied we have tried to keep our players occupied with different challenges and tasks, which many have engaged in. “The selfless acts of some of our little teams (and parents) have made us, as a club extremely proud. 

“We are a family orientated club and want to provide the best experience for all our players while engaging actively with the community.”

Since receiving the letter from the hospital, the club's U14 team have donated their Easter eggs to the food bank and U9 player John O'Keefe has shaved his hair off to raise money for NHS staff and volunteers battling the virus.

Then his teammates joined in and, between them, they've raised more than £1,000 so far.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Newport Corinthians

Newport Corinthians are setting a great example by collecting snacks and drinks for hard-working NHS staff in their community. 

Ammanford AFC

Ammanford AFC hit upon the idea of hosting a FIFA tournament, to raise money for NHS Wales and their local food banks.

It's already been an amazing success and loads of clubs have signed-up to get involved. We're super excited to see the tournament develop. Good luck to all involved and keep-up the good work.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW WE'RE SUPPORTING OUR CLUBS THROUGH THE PANDEMIC

Sports Marketing Network have created three free webinars discussing how community clubs can adapt to cope with the Coronavirus outbreak. 

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE WEBINARS

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by contacting our writer Dan Cope