The exciting partnership between the FAW Trust, Welsh Government and the Premier League has funded seven clubs in North, South and Central Wales to run informal sessions aimed at growing female football and inspiring children in areas of social deprivation.
The FAW Trust’s target for the programme is to introduce 1,800 12 to 16-year-olds to football, with at least 450 of those being female.
In year one, 244 young girls got involved in the 519 sessions that were delivered by Caernarfon Town, Llandudno FC, Racecourse Community Foundation, Bala Town, The New Saints, Carmarthen Town and Merthyr Town.
The Cics Cymru programme’s primary focus is to offer free football activities to those with the highest need, however this initiative is also growing the pool of football volunteers in Wales and bringing innovative football sessions to communities across the country.
Following delivery of the Cics Cymru programme, TNS Foundation are celebrating creating four new girls football teams in Welshpool.
The club’s football co-ordinator Danny Bell said: “We’ve created a pathway and an environment for people who had no interest in playing football to enjoy the game. The biggest benefit to us has been getting girls who didn’t play football now playing.”
Chloe Weaver is involved in the project as a Cics Cymru volunteer and commented: “It’s helped with my confidence to talk to more people. I used to be too scared to play with other children, but this has helped me get involved in something.”
Since joining Cics Cymru, participant Catrin Davies said: “I feel more secure about playing football, especially playing against the boys”. On being asked what advice she would give to young people apprehensive about joining in, Catrin added, “Don’t listen to other people, don’t let them get you down and just do what you love. If you enjoy football, come along because it’s fun.”