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By Ryan Jones 09 Jan, 2018
Wales hosted England in a pioneering Walking Football international clash.

The Welsh team, represented by Merthyr Town Community Trust’s side, entertained England in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Pontypridd RFC's home Sardis Road.

The event was co-ordinated by FAW Trust delivery partners, Game On Wales, with support from Walking Football United.

England, represented by Birmingham Walking Football Club, started very strongly and were two goals to the good in the opening five minutes.

Wales edged back into the game, but a clinical England side converted their chances and with their goalkeeper putting in a man of the match performance, England were able to extend their lead further.

Wales’ only goal was scant reward for their efforts but met with huge cheers from the home support. England were very worthy winners on the day and lifted the UK Walking Football Championships, the final score 1 – 8.

Dominic Mahoney, Merthyr Town Community Coach reflected, “It's been a great experience for all of those involved, they did such a great job against very strong opposition.

"To see the smiles on their faces, to hear them laughing and joking with one another, no matter the score, not just today, but every week is so great to see. This is the beauty of Walking Football, it truly is a social sport.”

Game On Wales programme manager Ryan Jones said: “At Game On Wales and The Coalfields Regeneration Trust we are proud to support efforts and will continue to ride this explosion of interest.

"There’s a place for competition but we really want to maximise walking football’s health of social benefits by getting the base of participation as wide as we can.”

If you are interested in getting involved in walking football, email us NOW at info@fawtrust.wales

This article first published by FAW Trust - 8th Jan 2018 
By Ceri Hudson 18 Dec, 2017

Over 60+ girls came together to take part in our Game On Girls Soccer Schools Festival on Monday 20th November at University of South Wales Sports Park. With 9 primary schools and 8 teams we were all set for what was to be a fantastic and successful event. With thanks to The FAW Trust and The Coalfields Regeneration Trust we were able to offer girls the opportunity to get involved and play football for the first time. The skill, effort, commitment and respect shown throughout the tournament was superb and we hope everyone who took part enjoyed their time with us.

Llanharry V Dolau & Garth Olwg V Maerdy was our 4 semi-finalists. All four teams battled hard with Llanharry sailing through to the final after beating Dolau 3-0 and Maerdy unfortunately just missing out to Garth Olwg during extra time. Llanharry and Garth Olwg provided us with a thrilling final with both teams having plenty of chances to score, but on the final whistle it was Garth Olwg who were crowned Game On Girls Soccer Schools Festival 2017 Champions, congratulations! Thank you to all the schools, teachers a pupils who took part, we look forward to seeing you at our next Soccer Schools Festival in January 2018.

By Ryan Jones 08 Dec, 2017

Alan Wells, 70, retired from Llantwit Fardre has been participating in walking football for over six months and has experienced significant health and social benefits. Since recovering from throat cancer, Alan has been looking for activities to not only improve his fitness, but to participate in a sport with other likeminded people where he can gently get fit and enjoy himself.

Alan outlined ‘The biggest benefit I have recognised is the camaraderie with the others.   Taking part has given me the psychological benefit of having something to look forward to. I really never thought I would ever play football again – a game I had not played for over forty years. After a few sessions I was surprised how quickly my skills came back.’

Barrie Griffiths, 76, retired former Heavy Goods Driver from Pontypridd has been taking part in walking football for two months and is already recognising the health benefits including the benefits of having to make quick decisions to keep himself mentally sharp.

Barrie described ‘For the past twenty seven years I have been keeping fit by playing golf at quite a challenging local course, but at my age I am looking for a way to keep fit when the weather is wet and cold. When I saw it advertised I knew I had to get involved, and they are a great bunch of lads. When I was driving for a living I was over sixteen and a half stone, since getting fit I am now under thirteen and feel a lot better.’

Gerald  Morton (left), 61, Railway Worker from Treforest has been taking part in walking football for over eighteen months.

Gerald outlined ‘Since taking part my fitness has got a lot better. As the weeks went on I noticed little things like gradually getting out of breath less. As a result of taking part and improving my fitness, walking football has opened up other ways of keeping fit to me such as power walking. Taking part has allowed me to get back into football twenty years after I stopped. It really brings your skills out and I wish I had done it sooner.’

 M erion Evans, 60, retired also from Llantwit Fardre has also been taking part in walking football at the Llantwit Fardre Sports Centre for six months.  Merion added ‘The biggest benefit I have experienced since taking part is the opportunity to improve and maintain my fitness, getting to meet lots of new people and having the chance to have a good fun workout as an alternative to going to the gym. This is a great opportunity to keep people playing a game they enjoy.’

Paul Payne, 63, retired from Beddau , has been participating in walking football for over two years and takes part in sessions in both Llantwit Fardre and Hawthorn.  Paul added ‘Taking part in walking football has given me the opportunity to maintain my fitness and supplement sessions with going to the gym. Walking football is far more of a workout than the term walking implies. I have also made good friends and I really enjoy the banter.’

By Ryan Jones 08 Nov, 2017
Based in the County Borough of Bridgend and serving the former coalfields communities of Tondu, Brynmenyn, and surrounding valley communities, Tondu United FC are a brand new football club set up to tackle the barrier facing young children in participating in football locally with little alternative clubs operating within the local community.

The club successfully secured a Game On Gear Grant, which is administered by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, which gives clubs operating in former coalfields areas the opportunity to purchase kits and sports gear up to the value of £500.

The club provide opportunities to play football for both boys and girls aged from under six teams to under tens as well as an increasingly popular under thirteen’s girl’s side.   The club see themselves as ‘more than just a club’, but a community for young people to grow, learn and have fun. The team emphasis is not just on winning matches, but on the social benefit to young people with the club encouraging parents to volunteer and take part in the club whether that is in supporting their children in games, coaching or in other aspects such as first aid and safeguarding. 

Thanks to a Game On Gear grant, Tondu United under seven’s can proudly wear their black and white stripes and continue to develop the game in the community.

Highlighting the benefit of the grant, Tondu United Coach and Secretary, Joe Powton explained "Our vision incorporates a full club philosophy and way of thinking, which isn’t all about winning and striving to win, but to ensure all players have equal opportunity to succeed and develop. This is why the grant from Game On was essential – to help us expand and increase participation for young children to feel fully inclusive."

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust and Game On Wales are delighted to support Tondu United – a new, ambitious and dynamic club. Together we work hard to develop the girls’ game; we know that girls have fewer clubs / opportunities (than boys). Through the Game On Gear Grant we help lay the right foundations to encourage more girls to become and stay hooked on football.

For further information on how your club could benefit from our Game On Gear Grant - please see 'What We Do' section. 
By Ryan Jones 27 Oct, 2017
Right from the very start, the Coalfields Regeneration Trust has had a solid relationship with the Cambrian Village Trust since their inception back in 2000. By offering a different and flexible approach through a commitment to communities rather than processes and programmes, CRT have supported their growth through not only grant funding but through advice and guidance not to mention through the development of Game On which uses the power of football to help young people gain qualifications, tackle loneliness and to address social and health inequalities that blight many former coalfields areas.

Based in Clydach Vale, a typical post industrial community characterised by high levels of poverty including concerning levels of poor health outcomes, Cambrian acquired land back in 2005 that was becoming increasingly dilapidated, but recognised the regeneration opportunity to make the area an important community hub. Today the area is home to the trust’s eighteen football teams, which cater for ages from five years old to older people and includes disability football. Recognised by the Football Association of Wales as a top UEFA Academy, Cambrian are investing in the development of the girls game by encouraging girls to get involved in football.
World class facilities

Today the Cambrian Village Trust have developed a FIFA recognised 3G pitch, which is used by the Cambrian Sky Blues and the wider community. However, the catalyst for this project was the installation of a multi-use games area which was part funded by a CRT grant of £6,000. This gave the local community, Cambrian and Clydach Boys and Girls Club as well as many local community groups access to football and basketball on a tarmac surface which was unattainable with lack of provision locally.

At the heart of all activities is the Lakeside Café, which acts as a community hub and meeting place for many community groups.
Recognising the potential, CRT awarded a grant of £35,000 towards total project costs of £70,000, enabling them to renovate two disused lakeside buildings leased from the Council, and develop a clubhouse to be used as a base for the group and football teams and their families. Essentially the café has significantly contributed towards reducing social isolation, but is also home to a number of groups including Cambrian Welfare, Rhondda Rotary, Cambrian Football Club, disability football, Autism Life and the Cambrian Ramblers to name just a few groups who enjoy the benefits of using the centre.

Strive and Thrive

Thanks in part from support from CRT, Cambrian Village Trust were able to draw more people towards their facilities. Cambrian Village Trust developed a new project which aimed to engage local people into healthy living and sporting activities with the support of mentors who act as motivators. With a service level agreement with Rhondda Cynon Taff Adult Services Mental Health Team, participants were able to not only participate in sport, but engage in mindfulness and confidence building sessions at the Village Trust’s classrooms. Over 30 people have engaged in the project with activities including walking football and rugby and cycling with referrals also coming from Communities First, GPs and housing associations. The project is being piloted for six months and has already engaged thirty participants with excellent feedback and undeniable results in reducing social isolation and improving health.

Phil Williams, Trustee of the Cambrian Village Trust outlined the importance of the CRT relationship.

‘We are very grateful to the Coalfields Regeneration Trust who have made our aims possible. With the development of the Lakeside Café Bar, we are able to recycle profits back into community projects to ensure local people have healthier lifestyles and to increase participation into football. We have had a long relationship with the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and we look forward to continued support.’
Trealaw resident and regular attendee, Michael Enticott added ‘I would recommend the facilities and projects to anyone. Before attending I was really bored stiff in the house. I have made many friends and by doing the cycling and canoeing my health have improved. Since attending I feel a lot happier and healthier and I also have a mentor to help me achieve my goals.’’

By Ryan Jones 26 Oct, 2017
Game On Wales has joined the 30,000 people and hundreds of organisations who give their time to their community.  Through a new partnership with Spice, we are able to offer our established Sport Leaders training to more local organisations.  Sport Leaders is a perfect way to boost the leadership skills and confidence of young people.  For more information get in touch or see the Spice 'Your Time Credits' brochure. 
By Ryan Jones 26 Oct, 2017
Game On Wales is proud to support #Our Squad - a Sport Wales initiative aimed at inspiring, empowering and encouraging more women and girls in Wales to get active and give sport a go.

Thanks to continued support from The FAW Trust and The Coalfields Regeneration Trust we are able to deliver fun football sessions, specifically for girls, in the community.  We just want more girls to get involved and have fun doing it.

We want to grow this community and the army of support available to women and girls who want to get more active, try something new or venture into sport for the first time.  So we are happy to share the message - be a part of #OurSquad - share stories and celebrate the achievements of women and girls across the nation giving it a go.

By Ryan Jones 05 Oct, 2017
The relationship between the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and Ebbw Vale Cricket Club has stretched back a number of years, with the club not only benefiting from CRT grants, but from advice and support that has led to the club growing from strength to strength. The club, which was established in 1852, set up Ebbw Vale Cricket Limited in February 2015, a social enterprise separate to the club who developed an indoor cricket training centre- which to this day remains only one of three centres in Wales.

This business model allows the club to reinvest any profits in to developing the game of cricket locally and ensuring facilities are affordable for all including age ranges right from under nine’s, ladies teams and first and second teams. Based on a programme established in Australia, the club are also piloting the ‘All Stars’ programme which looks to raise the profile of the game to children aged five to eight.

More than just grant funding

At the club’s helm, is club secretary Nick Pepper, who has been involved in playing and coaching at the club for over forty years and has been the key link between EVCC and support from CRT. This relationship started with CRT Development Officers identifying and working with Renew Wales to investigate energy sustainability for the club through advice, training and monitoring. CRT support and advice was also provided in improving the club’s governance and financial information and with links to key partners, guidance was provided after the asset transfer process to ensure its long term sustainability. Nick also attended a CRT funder’s fair, which he found inspirational in making the club’s ambitions a reality.

Inspiring the community 

Nick believes that the catalyst to the high standard of facilities at the club was kick started by a CRT grant for £7,000 to go towards a boiler, which opened up the centre to the wider community and made it more appealing for all. The centre has opened its doors to archery sessions with Coleg Gwent, keep fit sessions, after school activities and older person’s groups. Nick explained that the new thermostat also allows the club to be more sustainable with its energy use and heating costs. However, most importantly of all, the acquisition of the grant and continued support paved the way for further grant funding including a £55,000 English Cricket Board (ECB) grant which paid for improved lighting, specialist flooring and cricket net tension.

Club Secretary, Nick Pepper outlined

‘As a relatively new social enterprise, the advice we received from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust has been invaluable. From advice on governance to business planning, CRT were there for us and their grant was the catalyst to where we are today – providing excellent facilities that are affordable for the public.’

Hugh Caswell from Renew Wales added

‘This was one of the best projects I have been involved in, but was also technically challenging. The project is a shining beacon of what can happen with a decaying asset in a socially deprived area. The main challenge, which would decide ECB funding, was turning a 1960’s building in line with today’s legislation and this could not have been achieved without a partner led approach.’

Moving towards a positive future

In an area where cricket has sometimes been overshadowed by the prowess of local rugby and football clubs, Ebbw Vale Cricket Club is expanding its numbers for all age groups and opening its doors to more people. They are looking forward to shortly completing a further CRT grant funded project for new windows, which will not only further improve their energy efficiency, but will improve the outside appearance of the club. With a view of continuing the strong relationship with CRT, they are also exploring further asset transfers and coach education projects in conjunction with Game On Wales.


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By Ryan Jones 09 Jan, 2018
Wales hosted England in a pioneering Walking Football international clash.

The Welsh team, represented by Merthyr Town Community Trust’s side, entertained England in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Pontypridd RFC's home Sardis Road.

The event was co-ordinated by FAW Trust delivery partners, Game On Wales, with support from Walking Football United.

England, represented by Birmingham Walking Football Club, started very strongly and were two goals to the good in the opening five minutes.

Wales edged back into the game, but a clinical England side converted their chances and with their goalkeeper putting in a man of the match performance, England were able to extend their lead further.

Wales’ only goal was scant reward for their efforts but met with huge cheers from the home support. England were very worthy winners on the day and lifted the UK Walking Football Championships, the final score 1 – 8.

Dominic Mahoney, Merthyr Town Community Coach reflected, “It's been a great experience for all of those involved, they did such a great job against very strong opposition.

"To see the smiles on their faces, to hear them laughing and joking with one another, no matter the score, not just today, but every week is so great to see. This is the beauty of Walking Football, it truly is a social sport.”

Game On Wales programme manager Ryan Jones said: “At Game On Wales and The Coalfields Regeneration Trust we are proud to support efforts and will continue to ride this explosion of interest.

"There’s a place for competition but we really want to maximise walking football’s health of social benefits by getting the base of participation as wide as we can.”

If you are interested in getting involved in walking football, email us NOW at info@fawtrust.wales

This article first published by FAW Trust - 8th Jan 2018 
By Ceri Hudson 18 Dec, 2017

Over 60+ girls came together to take part in our Game On Girls Soccer Schools Festival on Monday 20th November at University of South Wales Sports Park. With 9 primary schools and 8 teams we were all set for what was to be a fantastic and successful event. With thanks to The FAW Trust and The Coalfields Regeneration Trust we were able to offer girls the opportunity to get involved and play football for the first time. The skill, effort, commitment and respect shown throughout the tournament was superb and we hope everyone who took part enjoyed their time with us.

Llanharry V Dolau & Garth Olwg V Maerdy was our 4 semi-finalists. All four teams battled hard with Llanharry sailing through to the final after beating Dolau 3-0 and Maerdy unfortunately just missing out to Garth Olwg during extra time. Llanharry and Garth Olwg provided us with a thrilling final with both teams having plenty of chances to score, but on the final whistle it was Garth Olwg who were crowned Game On Girls Soccer Schools Festival 2017 Champions, congratulations! Thank you to all the schools, teachers a pupils who took part, we look forward to seeing you at our next Soccer Schools Festival in January 2018.

By Ryan Jones 08 Dec, 2017

Alan Wells, 70, retired from Llantwit Fardre has been participating in walking football for over six months and has experienced significant health and social benefits. Since recovering from throat cancer, Alan has been looking for activities to not only improve his fitness, but to participate in a sport with other likeminded people where he can gently get fit and enjoy himself.

Alan outlined ‘The biggest benefit I have recognised is the camaraderie with the others.   Taking part has given me the psychological benefit of having something to look forward to. I really never thought I would ever play football again – a game I had not played for over forty years. After a few sessions I was surprised how quickly my skills came back.’

Barrie Griffiths, 76, retired former Heavy Goods Driver from Pontypridd has been taking part in walking football for two months and is already recognising the health benefits including the benefits of having to make quick decisions to keep himself mentally sharp.

Barrie described ‘For the past twenty seven years I have been keeping fit by playing golf at quite a challenging local course, but at my age I am looking for a way to keep fit when the weather is wet and cold. When I saw it advertised I knew I had to get involved, and they are a great bunch of lads. When I was driving for a living I was over sixteen and a half stone, since getting fit I am now under thirteen and feel a lot better.’

Gerald  Morton (left), 61, Railway Worker from Treforest has been taking part in walking football for over eighteen months.

Gerald outlined ‘Since taking part my fitness has got a lot better. As the weeks went on I noticed little things like gradually getting out of breath less. As a result of taking part and improving my fitness, walking football has opened up other ways of keeping fit to me such as power walking. Taking part has allowed me to get back into football twenty years after I stopped. It really brings your skills out and I wish I had done it sooner.’

 M erion Evans, 60, retired also from Llantwit Fardre has also been taking part in walking football at the Llantwit Fardre Sports Centre for six months.  Merion added ‘The biggest benefit I have experienced since taking part is the opportunity to improve and maintain my fitness, getting to meet lots of new people and having the chance to have a good fun workout as an alternative to going to the gym. This is a great opportunity to keep people playing a game they enjoy.’

Paul Payne, 63, retired from Beddau , has been participating in walking football for over two years and takes part in sessions in both Llantwit Fardre and Hawthorn.  Paul added ‘Taking part in walking football has given me the opportunity to maintain my fitness and supplement sessions with going to the gym. Walking football is far more of a workout than the term walking implies. I have also made good friends and I really enjoy the banter.’

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