Street Football Wales
23 May 2014

Street Football Wales

West Wales 6 East Wales 3

West Wales 6 East Wales 3

Street Football Wales (SFW) is a social inclusion charity that exists to improve the lives of and opportunities for socially excluded people in Wales using street football. All Street Football programmes are designed for team members aged 16 and above who face social exclusion through homelessness, substance misuse, mental ill health or cultural issues.

Some team members may be long term unemployed or involved in the criminal justice system, but all are facing daily barriers to be involved in society and the communities they live in, caused by the ever present stigma attached to their situations. SFW is there for people who have reached their lowest ebb.

In a special football match organised by SFW and played last week at Dragon Park Newport, West Wales beat East Wales 6-3. Kits for the two teams were donated by Swansea City and Newport County and the players, who are hoping to be selected to represent Wales in the Homeless World Cup in Chile in October were given a tour of inspection of the new FAW training facility.

Bethan Clayton of Street Football Wales (SFW) said: "The players enjoyed the tour of the impressive facilities and it was a hard-fought game between two evenly matched sides, but West Wales just came out on top. We would like to thank Newport County and Swansea for the kits and everyone at Dragon Park for making us so welcome."

Welsh Football Trust Chief Executive, Neil Ward, said “ I understand the huge benefits that the Street Football Wales project has had on so many people and so was delighted to provide the facilities at Dragon Park for the final event as reward and recognition for the players and volunteers involved.”

Additional information about Street Football Wales

In a questionnaire completed last year by 353 of the 560 participants, the following statistics demonstrate the positive impact that SFW can have on people’s lives:

87% said their mental health had improved
87% said their physical health had improved
63% said their drug or alcohol intake had lessened
77% said their relationships with support improved
74% said their living conditions had improved
91% said their confidence & self esteem improved
82% said their motivation to learn new skills or start working had increased
89% said their football skills had improved

Project Leader Keri Harris said that “SFW developed and delivered its Training & Education programme in 2013 with over 79 participants attending and gaining qualifications. 28 participant volunteers were actively involved in the delivery of the project with an average of 10 participants attending monthly branch meetings.”

Keri added that “the International participation (HWC) programme has also been incredibly successful during the past 10 years with record numbers of participants being assessed during the 2013 season. For the 1st time SFW also facilitated a female programme to enable representation from this group at the HWC. “

A target for SFW is to create a nationwide Street Football network capable of engaging with those furthest away from mainstream support provision. Keri stated that “currently we have 3 leagues based in Swansea, Newport and Colwyn Bay and as from March 2014 we will be launching SFW Valleys league based in Merthyr Tydfil. Our league season runs over 8 matchdays (once a month) from March to October with 2 cup competitions one locally which is during the season and a National Social Inclusion Cup competition at the end of the season.”

Summing up, Keri said “Street Football Wales is there for those who have reached a very low point in their lives. It’s an opportunity for people to be involved in something where they will not be judged or stigmatised.”

To know more about SFW, please contact Project Leader Keri Harris

Arweinydd Prosiect – Street Football Wales, Gofal a Cymorth Gwalia
Project Leader – Street Football Wales, Gwalia Care & Support

Phone/Ffôn: - 01792 572950 (Ext12) / 07879 420352