Thousands of new players and hundreds of volunteers were inspired to join the Welsh Football Family during our Euro 2020 Summer of Football.
Throughout the tournament and beyond, our range of exciting programmes gave young children the opportunity to fall in love with football, after watching Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Dan James and the team in action on TV.
Working with our partners McDonald’s, we expanded our Free Fun Football programme to 63 clubs and providers, across Wales, giving 2,822 children, aged 5-11, an exciting first experience of football.
Meanwhile, our Huddle programme gave more than 1,000 girls, aged 5-11, the opportunity to make friends, have fun and enjoy football together, at 24 centres, access Wales.
Our junior football clubs, in every corner of Wales, took the opportunity to grow, as 563 new young players and 113 volunteers were welcomed to football at our 94 Club Recruitment Days.
The Club Recruitment Days also gave our clubs a great opportunity to reconnect with their communities, as Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.
Many of those clubs also took the opportunity to up-skill their existing volunteers and recruit new coaches, with 287 free FAW Football Leaders course places being snapped-up in an initiative that has brought 41 new female coaches into Welsh football. This has also enabled 250 new junior football teams to be created in Wales.
And it wasn’t just on the grass where people were falling in love with football, our digital channels were buzzing all summer.
We created a Football at Home series for children, aged 2-5, to discover football and enjoy at home with their parents. Older children were encouraged to develop their skills, in the house, garden, beach or wherever they could find space, using specially designed drills from our FAW Skill Acquisition Programme. This content was accessed more than 21,000 times this summer.
Our FAW Trust website was accessed a record 68,655 times during the month of June, while tens of thousands more connected with us through our social media channels.
CPD Felinfach FC, in Ceredigion, signed-up 10 new players at their Club Recruitment Day.
A total of 70 children attended the day, which featured an entertainment show and a shot speed game.
The bronze accredited club, with 142 registered players, also hosted a month of FAW McDonald’s Free Fun Football sessions for the first time.
Treharris Athletic Western, in Merthyr Tydfil, joined our Free Fun Football programme to give new coaches the opportunity to learn to deliver sessions in a fun and friendly way.
By the end of the summer, the club had recruited many new coaches and players through their involvement in the programme.
Chairman Keiron Jones said: “The sessions created a great stepping stone for new players and a way to promote the club. They helped us build relationships and brought us closer to the community.”
Clydach FC, in Swansea, took the opportunity to grow their player and volunteer numbers by hosting a Club Recruitment Day and Free Fun Football sessions this summer, using the platform to inform their community about key changes happening at the club.
Chairman Tim Daley said: “Clydach Football Club was recently established, uniting two successful teams, to improve the all-around football offering in the local community.
“The FAW Recruitment Days enabled us to communicate what we were doing and our plans with the whole community.”CLICK HERE TO FIND AN AMAZING FOOTBALL CLUB NEAR YOU