The main headline for our 2019 report is that the number of registered females has reached 8,245 players, ensuring that we are on course to deliver our two high-level ambitious goals for the women and girls’ game :-
1) Football to become the number one female team sport by 2020.
2) Female participation to grow to 20,000 registered players by 2024.
Diversity and inclusion continues to be a key strand of our work and such progress helps highlight present success and future potential.
In 2019, we moved into the final year of the ‘More Than a Game’ FAW Strategy for Welsh football and have started work on developing a corporate plan for the next decade. New members to the board were appointed and have committed to improve present gender equality in board membership from 20% to no less than 40%, as further board refreshment occurs.
Participation in girls’ football received a boost following the development of ‘Huddle’, a new initiative providing girls’ only football sessions, aimed at the 5-to-12 age group. Female participation hit a new high in 2019 when club and we're on-track to achieve our 2020 strategic target of football being the biggest female team sport in Wales.
There will be a renewed emphasis and approach to our work in schools and the wider education sector next year, following an independent review of football in education. An action plan has been produced to deliver the recommendations from the review report. Priorities include improving provision for girls in secondary school, enhanced teacher training and a new Football Leaders Award, aimed at students aged 14 to 16, to support football delivery led by young people.
The FAW’s development of Colliers Park, a +£5M new-build regional training and development centre, near Wrexham, presents a significant opportunity to provide improved support to players and coaches in North Wales. Opened officially in September 2019, the facility will support the development of a female football hub with the full pathway of junior to senior participation opportunities, combined with progression into performance squads for the most talented players.
I hope you share my pride in our achievements in 2019, which are highlighted below. We look forward to the year ahead with continued and sustained commitment to achieve our priorities and goals and to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, disability, or social circumstance, has the opportunity to play the game in a safe, fun and enjoyable environment and that those with the skill and ambition can fulfil their potential.
Enjoy the Report!
Our McDonald's Fun Football programme is where 5-to-11-year-olds get their first experiences of organised football. Our providers, dotted around Wales, give children an exciting a safe environment in which to enjoy those early experiences.
Our Huddle programme is where girls, age 5-to-11 first fall in love with football. Our 23 providers, across Wales, give girls an enjoyable environment to have fun, make friends and play football, in an exciting 12-week programme, which prepares them for progression, if desired.
In 2018/19 Carrie Jones completed a remarkable journey from grassroots football to the Wales senior team, before her 16th birthday. She attributes her rapid development to her coaches and regularly visits her former clubs and schools.
Cics Cymru is a programme that was set-up, in partnership with the Premier League and Welsh Government. Its aim was to get new youngsters to fall in love with football, including girls and those from disadvantaged and BAME backgrounds.
When a lack of disability football in West Wales provided a problem, collaboration delivered the answer. Working with Ammanford AFC Juniors, Carmarthenshire County Council, Swansea City Community Trust and Sport Wales, we created a thriving new team with ambition to grow.
When Carmarthen Mini League grew to 126 teams they needed a new place to play. Thanks to the support of Carmarthen Town AFC and Ysgol Maes-y-Gwendraeth, the league’s teams now play on 3G surfaces, every Saturday.
In 2019, our C Certificate programme was tailored to help dyspraxia sufferer Morgan Basham to complete the course and continue his coaching journey. Despite the limitations of his condition, Morgan completed the necessary contact hours and now regularly coaches at two clubs.
MAJOR GOALS (2024 Targets)
Progress (Current Figures)
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