Vote for the FAW McDonald's Community Club of the Year 2021

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The public will decide the winner of the FAW McDonald's Community Club of the Year Award for the first time in 2021. 

After hundreds of nominations were received, six clubs, one from each area of Wales, has been selected to contest the 'People's Award.' 

Take the time to read through why each club was selected and vote for your winner below. 

Hay St Mary's | Central Wales 

Hay St Mary's Football Club has developed into a large community club. Numbers have increased, especially within the Junior section with almost 100 children currently registered and more wanting to join in the new season. The club also runs a senior section with two adult male teams and a female team. The club was ‘on its knees’ but is now thriving, with more coaches joining, the finances are in a healthy place all mean a stable position to enable the club to perform and grow for many years to come. Everyone within the club are volunteers and work extremely hard 7 days a week. The club also encourages young people to get involved, supporting the Duke of Edinburgh Award enabling young people to help out at the club training and match days.

RTB Ebbw Vale | Gwent

The club has a senior and junior section that operate independently of one another. However during the pandemic, the whole club pulled together to become involved in many activities to lift the spirits of the community during such a difficult time. The coaches led Zoom training sessions for senior and junior players. They had loo roll challenges, raffles and prize draws to raise money for charity. The club delivered food parcels, essential goods and goody boxes to key workers. The junior players donated their Easter eggs and Halloween chocolates to hospitals and care home workers. The club produced ‘Diolch NHS’ club shirts to raise more money for charities within the locality as well as acting as a drop off point and collecting many different food types for the local food bank. The club has worked hard through the pandemic to galvanise the community.

Deeside Dragons | North East Wales 

Deeside Dragons JFC is a small Grassroots Club from North East Wales. Over the last year the Club has worked hard to ensure they are fully inclusive and hosted a Grassroots vs Homophobia Fun Festival in March 2020. The importance of Tackling Homophobia in Football, being visible, and truly being an inclusive Club is a core value. To help spread awareness of the cause of Sports for Everyone & Grassroots Vs Homophobia, the players now have a new Campaign Kit to help promote inclusion for everyone everywhere they play and so visitors know what the Club stands for. The Club will now be hosting its Second Grassroots vs Homophobia Fun Festival which they hope will be even bigger! The Club aims to grow the event each year to encourage Grassroots Teams to take the Pledge and to encourage clubs to take their first meaningful steps to become an LGBT+ Inclusive club. The club has set up a Youth Panel to give its players a voice and to help ensure engaging and inclusive practice. The Youth Panel has a diverse range of members with a 50% representation from LGBT+ non-binary Players. Coaches and volunteers have started a ‘Bullying and inclusion awareness course’ and the club hosts activities to ensure inclusion education is delivered to volunteers and players. The vision is that every person who walks through their ‘gates’ should feel welcomed, valued, can be themselves, and feel like they are part of the club.

Cemaes Bay | North Wales Coast 

Throughout Covid, when allowed to train, the club engaged with the local community and grew its membership from 40 to 100 players. The club have created a girls only training session and will now be able to enter two girls teams into the league for the new season. The children, when unable to train, collected large amounts of food donations for their local food banks and Christmas gifts were donated to a local women’s refuge. The Club delivered weekly online coaching activities to help keep the children engaged and active. As soon as Covid restrictions were eased, training resumed with coaches ensuring all regulations were in place so the children could just simply come and play in a safe environment.

Aber Valley | South Wales 

Aber Valley FC have gone above and beyond in trying to help those less fortunate. The football club has set up a food bank to help those in the community adversely affected by a loss of income during the pandemic; each week donations are received at The Aber Hotel and players from the senior team sort and deliver food parcels to those in need. A Boot Room has been created where old unused boots are dominated so that no child in the village goes without and can play football. The club also hosted a fun day for all to come back together in a safe environment and to help create some normality in people’s lives. All of the coaches and committee members give up their own time, free of charge, to provide football for all abilities from 5 years of age to the seniors.

Ammanford | West Wales 

The football club is an integral part of the community in Ammanford providing opportunities for everyone from cradle to grave with age, gender or disability not being a barrier to participation. As a platinum club they strive to improve opportunities even during lockdown creating challenges and live sessions to engage with members during COVID-19.  The club returned safely and successfully in August 2020 with 40+ coaches and volunteers undertaking Welsh Sports Association Covid-19 Training to ensure new protocols kept the community safe. Moving membership electronically holds online parents’ meetings for inductions, a process that has seen an increase in membership over the last year. The club has supported its members during 2021 in scrapping membership fees for the remainder of the season whilst still investing in the ongoing maintenance of four local pitches that are accessible to the public as community facilities. The club is also involved in local initiatives with local food banks where parents are able drop and donate food items during training sessions and then Committee members on the Town Council deliver food to those on the shielding list. The Chairman and Pitch Manager were awarded by the Town Council for delivering prescriptions to the vulnerable for six months as volunteers. First Team players appeared in CPD Urdd to showcase skills to young footballers to copy over lockdown. The whole club took part in a sponsored walk / run and bucket collections have taken place at local store retailers to raise valuable funds that it re-invests into the community. The club created a mental health charity based on a former player 'Jac Lewis Foundation' and will be the only club in Wales with an on-site mental health facility on the football ground. Ammanford AFC created a Welsh FIFA Tournament during lockdown, bringing 128 clubs from all over Wales together, raising £2,000 for the NHS. The club prepared a 20 page lockdown activity book for young pupils to use off school. Ammanford AFC have attained the Disability Sport Wales Bronze disability award and the club’s disability team featured on 'Y Wall Goch' S4C programme for its involvement/role in the community.