By Jack Cook
Penrhyn Bay Football Club are renowned for their girls’ football provision and introducing the FAW Trust’s new Huddle programme has allowed them to welcome more players to the club.
New friends, Ava-Lily and Ffion - both aged six - have joined Penrhyn Bay’s Huddle every Monday evening at Y Creuddyn School along with 20 other girls.
Ffion's mum, Nadine, explained the positive impact that the initiative - aimed at girls between 5-12 years-old - has had on her daughter.
"These Huddle sessions have given her a newfound level of confidence which we’ve not seen in her before," she said.
"Ffion has always liked football, but she’s never been a part of a club until now.
"I’m keen for her to play football because I think it’s so important for her to learn to work with others as part of a team and make new friends outside of her school."
Ava-Lily is from a sporting family, although football has never been high on the agenda, until now.
Her mum, Natalie, says Ava-Lily has now inspired her older brother, Louis, to get involved in football.
"Ava-Lily came home from school with a flyer for football and was desperate to join straight away," Natalie said. "Neither of us are footballers, but we will support her in whatever she wants to do.
"Her enthusiasm for football has become contagious in our family and her older brother wants to start football because he can see how much she loves it."
Natalie - who is now in search of a local football team for Louis - expressed her delight with her daughter's progress and heaped praise on the coaches working with her.
"It’s brilliant to see Ava-Lily thriving so much from these sessions," she added.
"The coaches are brilliant, they are always so full of beans and that has such a positive impact on the girls, they love coming here.”
Gareth Rawlings, who heads up the Huddle sessions, recently won Volunteer of the Year at the McDonald's 2019 FAW National Awards for his exceptional commitment and enthusiasm for girls’ football in North Wales.
Gareth said: "Huddle is such a good way to introduce young girls to football through games and fun challenges. We as coaches love it just as much as the girls do and I think that’s why it works so well.
"We run every Monday and are seeing new girls join each week, our door is always open for new participants. I’m so proud of the coaches we have involved, Danny Mercer for one is such an inspiring individual to have leading the sessions, we’re very lucky to him on board.”IF THIS STORY INSPIRES YOU, HEAD TO HUDDLE.CYMRU TO FIND YOUR NEAREST HUDDLE CENTRE