Vauxhall Fun Football Grant Scheme
7 November 2013

Vauxhall Fun Football Grant Scheme

FAW puts fun into football for girls, Rhyl pensioners and Rhuddlan disabled kids

FAW puts fun into football for girls, Rhyl pensioners and Rhuddlan disabled kids

A young coach from Rhyl is putting fun into football thanks to a scheme from the Football Association of Wales (FAW). Niall McGuinness, 22, of Rhyl Football Club in the Community is running a series of soccer sessions at schools and nursing homes across Rhyl and North Wales, all made possible by funding from the Vauxhall Fun Football Programme.

With the first major football tournament hosted in Wales this summer - the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship which took place in West Wales from August 19th-31st - the emphasis has been placed on increasing participation from girls in particular. To aid this clubs can now apply for investment from the FAW of up to £3,000 to kick-start their project.

Niall, from Rhyl, said: “We’ve been going into Rhyl High School each week to run girls-only sessions at school lunch times. During the first couple of sessions, the girls were a bit intimidated as they were playing football in front of lads but as the sessions progressed, they've really got into the swing of it. They’ve been improving week on week and there are some really tidy players in the group.”

As part of the FAW and national team sponsor Vauxhall’s commitment to grassroots football, the Fun Football Programme has offered grants to several football programmes across Wales to develop and aid soccer schools. The accredited scheme is targeted at increasing participation in football for children of all abilities in a safe learning environment.The term “fun football” is recognised by UEFA and is endorsed as a grass roots development initiative.

With the FAW also looking to increase participation from disabled people, Rhyl’s Football in the Community programme is running sessions especially for disabled children.

Alongside all this, Niall also leads sessions in a local nursing home. Niall said: “It’s a great way of increasing activity among older people. We go into the nursing home and do very basic football drills and basic ball work but it gets them up and moving and they really enjoy it.”

Applying for the FAW investment has really helped Rhyl Football in the Community open doors. Niall said: “We’ve already got plenty of equipment and balls. We use the investment to alleviate the cost of the sessions for people participating. This means the sessions are free and we can get people involved who ordinarily might not have been able to previously.”

Niall has been involved with Rhyl Football in the Community for three years and his coaching career is going from strength to strength. “My dad used to coach at Rhyl so I came down to see what was happening here and if any positions were available. I initially did a four week Strikers course which is about assessing your commitment to the job and what you can offer. I then did a six-month placement with Rhyl and that led me to where I am now. I’ve now completed my UEFA B and C licences and the next step is doing the A Licence next year."

Ian Gwyn Hughes, Head of Public Affairs at the FAW, said: “Following a fantastic season for Welsh football on many fronts, it was great to host the UEFA championships in the summer. The stars of that tournament all started somewhere and the emphasis of the Fun Football programme really is about encouraging more and more youngsters to get off the sofa and play football. The scheme offers them the opportunity to turn up and play and develop their skills in a creative and safe coaching environment. It’s crucial that we encourage these youngsters and nurture their talent, as they are the future football stars of our nation.”

Vauxhall Head of Sponsorship, Chris Hornbuckle said: “We are very excited about playing our part in the Fun Football Programme. From the beginning of our sponsorship we have been committed to supporting football from the grass roots through to the national senior team and it is vitally important for the future of the game in Wales that we support the young talent with such opportunities.”

Vauxhall Fun Football Grant Scheme
Vauxhall Fun Football Grant Scheme
Vauxhall Fun Football Grant Scheme
Vauxhall Fun Football Grant Scheme