Vote for the Best Grassroots Football Story in Wales
VOTING HAS CLOSED. NO FURTHER VOTES WILL BE COUNTED - DIOLCH
The FAW McDonald's Grassroots Football Awards have a new category and it's time for you to select your winner.
In 2019, the amazing story of Barry Town United pan disability coach Chloe McBratney inspired us to create the new category for our People's Award and now it's time for you to vote for the inaugural winner.
Read the story of each awesome contender here and vote for your winner below...
ELLIE WATKINS - CENTRAL WALES
Ellie was selected as a young advisor as part of the newly formed #TrustInUs project, which aimed to encourage teenage girls to engage with football through playing, leading, promoting or volunteering.
She stood out as someone who wanted to create opportunities for young people in her rural area and apply herself to developing both personally and as a leader.
Ellie claimed that she found a new purpose and a reason to get up and do something positive through the project.
She is now sitting on the Sport and Recreation Steering Group as well as becoming a Youth Sport Trust Young Advisor.
RHYMNEY JUNIORS FC - GWENT
While participating in the 2019 Welsh Super Cup, in Cardiff ,the Rhymney Junior under 14 team were drawn in the same group as Lidi Ndogo Academy, from Kenya.
The Kenyan team were made up of players of mixed ages and abilities from a children's home.
Their kit was mostly borrowed, well-worn and broken.
The Rhymney Juniors players got together and decided they would donate their spare kit to the Kenyan team at the end of the tournament.
They didn’t stop there, the U14 team decided to ask the club's other age-groups to donate kit to take back to Kenya.
DELWYN DERRICK - NORTH EAST WALES
Delwyn is the founder of Bellevue Football Club in Wrexham.
Started in the autumn of 2016, Bellevue FC are a multi-ethnic and inclusion specific football club, with all the players being foreign nationals, from BAME backgrounds, have mental health issues or learning difficulties.
The team competes in the North East Wales Football League, playing across the counties of Wrexham and Flintshire.
Delwyn’s vision is to create social integration and community cohesion through football as an educational tool.
Now into their fourth year as a club, Delwyn has expanded the offer, creating a support network with football as the unifying factor.
The club have worked alongside organisations such as Kick it Out, Fans for Diversity, the Football Supporters Federation, Show Racism the Red Card, Football V Homophobia, Level Playing Field, and the Wrexham Disabled Supporters Association.
He offers support and mentorship to his players through linking with these organisations, thus helping players gain learning support, advice when job hunting and supporting asylum cases.
His commitment and dedication have created a truly welcoming and supportive club to all.
GARMON EDWARDS JONES - NORTH WALES COAST
Garmon joined Kinmel Bay FC's visually impaired group when he was five-years-old.
His sight is akin to a night vision. At the point he started his football journey he often struggled to keep up with his friends when involved in practical activities.
His parents were concerned that he would be unable to play in a team with his friends.
During four seasons spent at Kinmel Bay, Garmon learned all the football techniques and through his patience and dedication became more confident at mastering skills.
From the start he was determined that we would be a position one day to play mainstream football.
Garmon’s dad created an U10 team in their village (Henllan FC) and Garmon was gradually introduced to playing mainstream football with his friends.
Now 12-years-old, he plays as a central holding midfielder in an 11 a-side team.
It has taken a number of years for Garmon to adapt and master the game but the outcome he has achieved is incredible.
GAREN WILLIAMS - SOUTH WALES
Garen has Parkinson’s Disease and last year, along with other Parkinson’s players, entered the ‘Ray Kennedy Cup’ in Denmark.
Upon his return, he had a vision along with others to create the ‘Cure Parkinsons Cup’ and for two teams from Wales to compete in the event.
After a lot of hard work and determination the inaugural ‘Cure Parkinson’s Cup’ is scheduled to take place at Sixways Stadium later this year.
By creating this event and new teams, people in a similar position have returned to football or even started playing the game for the first time.
DREFACH FC - WEST WALES
Following their support of the FAW Trust/Urdd after-school programme, the club have established a junior girl’s section for the very first time.
There was a lack of opportunities for girls to access football in the centre of Carmarthenshire, so this development is critical to help ensure equal opportunities and provision.
The tireless work of club officials and coaches to recruit new players through their work with local primary schools has come to fruition and the club has now established under 8, 10 and 12 girls only teams.
Drefach are set to launch a weekly ‘Huddle’ session, aimed at those girls new to the game.