blank
Connect with us

Football

12 year-old Harri’s a ‘Local legend’

Published

on

Swansea City AFC’s Foundation has named Harri its ‘Local Legend’ as Premier league Kicks marks its 15 year anniversary.

The Premier League is celebrating 15 years of its flagship community programme, with Swansea City AFC Foundation among the organisations that has helped deliver the successful initiative.

Advertisement

Premier League Kicks has supported hundreds of thousands of young people to achieve their potential and improve their wellbeing through free weekly football sessions and educational workshops.

One person who has benefitted from their involvement is Harri Stevens, from Seaside in Llanelli, who has been named as a Premier League Kicks ‘Local Legend’ by the Swansea City AFC Foundation as part of the programme’s 15-year anniversary.

Premier League Kicks began in the 2006-07 season in partnership with the Metropolitan Police, with the aim of involving and supporting young people in regular, positive, and fun activity, whilst helping to create stronger, safer, more inclusive communities.

As part of the 15-year celebrations, clubs have nominated a Premier League Kicks ‘Local Legend’; somebody who has taken part in, volunteered, or worked on the programme and has inspired others through their dedication, work ethic and own personal development.

Each nominee will receive a bespoke ‘Local Legend’ football card, which has been created with support from Premier League partner Panini.

Advertisement

Harri, aged 12, was chosen as Swansea City AFC Foundation’s Premier League Kicks ‘Local Legend’ because of his great attitude, both on and off the football pitch, which stands out during the Kicks sessions as well as his passion for football. Harry is also a player for his local grassroots team, Seaside AFC.

Harri, who has been involved with Swansea City’s Premier League Kicks activity for two years, said: “I’ve been coming to Premier League Kicks for about two years now – I think Craig is the best manager who makes me laugh, I just love playing football with my friends and it makes me happy. My brother, Cody, made me get into football and I want to play like Marcus Rashford.

“I used to get angry when I was playing football, but Craig and the coaches make me feel happier now and I’ve learnt that through Kicks.

“I think my Panini card is brilliant, I was so shocked to receive it. I’m going to hang it up in the living room so all my family can see it.”

The Swansea City AFC Foundation began its Premier League Kicks delivery during the 2012-13 season and has since grown from engaging 42 people to reaching 10,888 young people in Swansea in the past nine seasons – delivering more than 7,768 hours of Premier League Kicks sessions.

Advertisement
Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llewellyn and Youth Engagement Manager at Swansea City Foundation, Craig Richards presenting Harri with his giant Panini card

“We have been part of Premier League Kicks for nine years and it has been a really intrinsic part of the delivery that the Swansea City AFC Foundation do within the community and the way we represent our club and the ethos of the project fits really well with who we are as an organisation,” said Helen Elton, head of community for Swansea City AFC Foundation.

“Most evenings that we are here, we have between 80 and 100 young people turning up and that is pretty regular so that is amazing.

“To have young people coming out because it’s so much fun, because they enjoy it and because they want to be here that is brilliant and it is really fulfilling. Premier League Kicks is a brilliant project and we are so lucky to be able to deliver it.”

Lee Trundle, Swansea City club ambassador, added: “I think it’s brilliant, all the football clubs do really well to get their local communities involved with it because it is the community that is the heart of every football club.

“If you look at society today, a lot of people say that the kids are always on their computers and stuff, but you can see them out enjoying their football, meeting new friends and getting a bit of exercise and you can see that they are all enjoying it.

“The continued fantastic turn out says a lot about the initiative, people want to come out and support it and play football and stay active and healthy, you look at all these young people running around with a smile on their face and it’s great that the football club are behind that.”

Advertisement
Harri in footballing action for Seaside AFC

Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand said: “Legend is a word you hear a lot in football, but legends aren’t just created in stadiums. The coaches, mentors, volunteers and participants who are fulfilling their potential thanks to these weekly sessions all deserve to be called legends.

“For 15 years Premier League Kicks has been using the universal language of football to bring communities together and inspire a new generation of young people, providing positive role models who can give them belief and can help to steer them on the right path in life.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said:  “It was great to be part of the celebrations this week, and I would like to congratulate the Premier League for the success of their Kicks initiative and the positive impact the programme is having on communities.”

“By working with with Swansea City Foundation to bring the initative to areas with Dyfed-Powys, I wanted to try to reduce the amount of anti-social behaviour and youths congregating, as you would expect during the evenings, and give them an alternative.

“What better way to do it than to engage through football?

“It gives them an outlet, as well, for some of their frustrations and to burn up a little bit of energy. We did that and it was very successful.

Advertisement

“Not everyone’s got opportunities, and this particular area and other areas across Dyfed-Powys are quite deprived in that sense, and for the Premier League to reinvest back into local communities is fantastic.”

Youth Engagement Manager at Swansea City Foundation, Craig Richards said: “The Swans Kicks Project in partnership with the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner offers young people opportunities and a sense of belonging.

“It has been a difficult 24 months for everyone. However, we believe these sessions are having a positive influence on young people and building stronger communities to reduce and prevent crime. We are excited to be able to offer football sessions to all areas in Dyfed Powys and thank the Police Crime Commissioner for his full support towards the programme.”

Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llewellyn with Harri, Swansea City club ambassador Lee Trundle and Youth Engagement Manager at Swansea City Foundation, Craig Richards

As well as providing young people with access to free football and sports activities, Premier League Kicks offers mentoring, life skills advice and access to opportunities like volunteering to help aid their development.

To date, the Premier League has invested almost £66 million in Kicks and in the year ahead an estimated 80,000 young people will take part in the programme.

Since it began, more than 440,000 young people have participated in Premier League Kicks football and multi-sport sessions held at community venues across England and Wales. The programme started with four pilot clubs and is now run across 936 venues by 90 Premier League, English Football League and National League sides – all funded by the Premier League.

Advertisement

(All images: Swansea City AFC)

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Football

College footballers see success in National competition

Published

on

By

NPTC Group of Colleges boys’ football team have finished in the top four in the UK.

The boys’ football team competed in the Association of Colleges football tournament at Nottingham competing against some of the best footballing further education colleges and sixth form teams in the UK.

Advertisement

The team qualified for the tournament by winning the regional competition in Wales which meant they represented Wales in the British competition.

Playing eight games over two days, the team won four, losing three and drawing one. The team beat the eventual tournament winners Yeovil College 3-1 earlier in the tournament and were very proud of their performances across the weekend’s games.

Sport lecturer Lindsay Piper said: “The tournament was intense with each game being won or lost by small margins. The competition was tough, and the boys did a fantastic job representing the college and Wales”.

Llandarcy Academy of Sport students Tyrone Cadeau and Roan Piper were a key part of the team’s success at the tournament. The two were also part of the history-making Welsh school’s U18 team who won the 2022 centenary shield.

The tournament was contested by England, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales, with Wales finishing top of the table for the first time in 41 years.

Advertisement

Both Tyrone and Roan played vital roles in the team’s success over the past two months with Wales recording three wins and one loss over their four games.

Wales secured the championship with a 2-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in Caernarfon at the end of April, with Roan scoring the second goal.

(Lead image: NPTC Group of Colleges)

Continue Reading

Fishguard

Grassroots sports in Wales get £1.3m investment in UK Government Levelling Up announcement

Published

on

By

Beneficiaries of an initial £1.3 million investment in grassroots football facilities across Wales this year are announced by the UK Government.

In the Swansea Bay Region, Mumbles, Pontarddulais and Fishguard football clubs see over £140,000 in investment.

Advertisement

Seventeen projects across Wales will receive funding to create and improve pitches, changing rooms and pavilions, so that more local communities can access high-quality facilities.

Projects have been chosen for their ability to deliver improved facilities in deprived areas, support multi-sport use and increase participation among currently under-represented groups, including women, girls and disabled players.

Mumbles Rangers AFC

Mumbles Rangers AFC who play at Underhill Park (pictured above) will receive £19,332 for essential grass pitch maintenance machinery. The club say this is so the pitch can effectively service the rugby and football teams across all age groups who use it.

The pitch has been upgraded over the last two years and supports two-day male and female football festivals with teams competing from across South Wales

The club will also invest £2,148 of its own funds towards the scheme.

Advertisement

Pontarddulais Town FC

Pontarddulais Town FC who play at Coed Bach Park will get £98,842 to renovate an old changing room block that is no longer fit for purpose, bringing it back into use. The club say the funding will provide female toilet facilities and allow other community groups to benefit from the increased capacity.

The club will also invest £8,000 of its own funds into the scheme, in addition to £2,000 from Funds for Wales, £1,000 from Mynydd y Gwair wind farm and £3,477 from a voluntary works labour contribution.,

Fishguard Sports AFC

Further West, Fishguard Sports AFC who play at Tregroes Park will receive £26,072 to improve the drainage of the second pitch and purchase portable floodlights, so that it can be used into the evenings. The club say the poor drainage has prevented the club from expanding its offer, especially for ladies football, cricket and the U16’s disabled team which this project will unlock.

The club will invest £1,897 of its own funds, as well as £1,000 voluntary works labour contribution towards the scheme.

Investment in community facilities

The funding, combined with contributions from clubs and other local partners, will improve the quality of community facilities, bring people together to enjoy playing sport in their local area, regenerate communities and enhance social cohesion.

Advertisement

It forms part of a £25 million UK-wide investment in grassroots facilities during this financial year, out of a total of £230 million set to be invested to help to build or upgrade up to 8,000 quality pitches across the UK over the next four years. The funding will also support the construction or refurbishment of clubhouses, changing facilities and community buildings.

The Football Association of Wales is delivering the programme on behalf of the UK Government in Wales. Following the UK Government’s commitment, the Welsh Government has also opted to invest £1.3 million to improve grassroots facilities this year – the FAW is working with both governments to maximise the benefits of this combined investment for local communities.

UK Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “We are committed to improving access to high quality sports facilities for the underprivileged and underrepresented in Wales.

“From female changing rooms at Treborth Playing Fields in Bangor to new pitches in Welshpool and Swansea, this will ensure more people can enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of sport at top class facilities in their local community.”

Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “Grassroots football clubs are at the heart of their communities, providing sporting opportunities but also bringing incalculable health and social benefits to local children and adults.

Advertisement

“They play a hugely important role and I’m thrilled that the UK Government is making this investment in facilities the length and breadth of Wales which will help the clubs and groups receiving this funding to continue their fantastic work.”

Chief Executive Noel Mooney from the Football Association of Wales said: “The Football Association of Wales is pleased to be working closely with the UK and Welsh Governments to improve facilities across Wales and are grateful for their support.

Improving the facilities across Wales is the FAW’s number one strategic objective. This initial round of funding marks the beginning of an exciting journey, and the FAW will continue to work closely with all of its stakeholders, to create a facilities investment fund in order to deliver impactful projects across all corners of Wales as we strive to make football inclusive and accessible to all.”

Joint UK bid for Euro 2028

Today’s announcement follows a joint ‘Expression of Interest’ submitted to UEFA by the Football Associations of England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales on Wednesday (23 March).

The Governments of the UK, Ireland, Scotland and Wales have confirmed their support for the EOI submission and, given the Northern Ireland Executive is currently not meeting formally, officials there continue to observe the process closely.

Advertisement

Formal discussions on the technical specifications for the tournament are expected to take place with European football’s governing body over the coming weeks, before a final decision is made on submitting a formal bid.

On the prospects of hosting UEFA EURO 2028, Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston added: “This is welcome news from the FAs, and the Government remains committed to working closely with them and our partners in the Government of Ireland and the Devolved Administrations to bring UEFA’s flagship festival of international football to the UK and Ireland.

“Our unprecedented partnership creates the potential for the best EUROs ever, and we are passionate about bringing another world-leading sporting event here, creating a real celebration of football for people across the UK and Ireland.

“The government continues to demonstrate its commitment to sport and recreation, recently announcing that it is also investing £30 million to refurbish more than 4,500 tennis courts across the UK.”

(Lead image: Go Underhill)

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Football

Welsh football association latest to announce boycott of Russian games

Published

on

By

action ball field game

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) is the latest in a string of countries to announce they would not play games against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

Wales follows England, Sweden, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Poland in announcing a boycott of Russian matches as teams were meant to play as part of World Cup qualifiers.

Advertisement

In a written statement, backed by Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, the FAW said: “The Football Association of Wales (FAW) stands in solidarity with Ukraine and feels an extreme amount of sadness and shock to the recent developments in the country.

“The FAW expresses its condemnation for the use of force and the atrocities being committed by Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.

“The FAW has decided that Cymru will not play any international fixtures against Russia for the foreseeable future, at any level of the game.

“Our thoughts and support are with the people of Ukraine.

“Сильніші разом. Together, we are stronger. Gyda’n gilydd, yn gryfach.”

Advertisement

The English Football Association have said that the country will not play any international matches against Russia “for the foreseeable future” and that it “wholeheartedly condemns the atrocities being committed by the Russian leadership”.

FIFA has requested that the Russian football teams play upcoming games in neutral territory under the name the Football Union of Russia without their flag and anthem.

This approach has been deemed “totally unacceptable” by the Polish FA.

Polish football association president Cezary Kulesza said: “We are not interested in participating in this game of appearances. Our stance remains intact: Polish National Team will not play with Russia, no matter what the name of the team is.”

Swedish FA president Karl-Erik Nilsson said: “Our opinion is not different today and the situation has not changed in Ukraine just because we have received the message from Fifa, so we have no other opinion today.

Advertisement

“We also want to talk to Poland and the Czech Republic so that we can give back to Fifa what we think, but we had expected a sharper stance from Fifa. We would have done so.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News