Participation Increase in North East Wales
21 October 2013

Participation Increase in North East Wales

Mini-Football Opportunities increasing in Wrexham and Flintshire

Mini-Football Opportunities increasing in Wrexham and Flintshire

Many changes have occurred in recent seasons within the North East Wales Region, specifically around the development of younger players within the area. These include

* the introduction of smaller-sided games to further develop players’ overall participation time within games

* improvement of technical and overall fitness capabilities of players

* the greater use of artificial 3/4G playing surfaces to increase game time and improve the chances of running ‘smoother’ junior league game programmes

* increased support from Welsh Premier League Clubs, such as Airbus UK and GAP Connahs Quay

* a key focus on Coach Support via the National Club Accreditation Process, all aimed at providing a safe, enjoyable and educational environment for players to fall in love with the game and boost development at grassroots level.

There have been many reasons for recent growth in participation within North East Wales (Wrexham and Flintshire) and some interesting trends in growth, specifically within the Under 7 Age Group and the numbers involved within the junior clubs across the region.

In total, the region, has recorded its highest participation figures within this specific age group, with 808 six and seven year olds active within 47 grassroots clubs (426 in Flintshire and 382 in the Wrexham based clubs).

The following figures support the overall growth of participation within our Primary School age group:

- 2,773 Mini-Football Players (5-11) involved in club programmes across North East Wales

- 1,231 in Flintshire

- 1,542 in Wrexham Junior League Clubs

North East Wales Club Development Officer, Mark Roberts adds, “The work undergone within the previous 12-months has been focused around the specific growth of the Under 7 Age Groups, utilising 3/4G facilities, Welsh Premier League Clubs and local Key Partners to engage with a variety of children and families, really making football accessible to them. A key finding has been the high percentage of children who are now based within clubs but currently do not wish to engage within a structured league games programme, yet enjoy attending these clubs on a weekly basis. This is something which will be key and of real interest moving forward.”

The region has seen a positive growth across the collective Junior League structures, with in total 4,900 players active within 47 of the affiliated grassroots clubs in North East Wales.