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Young footballers have a Bale of a time at five-a-side tournament

30 June 2016

While the country goes football-crazy over the exploits of Gareth Bale and his band of brothers in the Euros, a group of soccer loving youngsters from Ogmore Vale have also been taking a tournament by storm.

Members of the Wyndham Boys and Girls Club finished runners-up in the British Boys and Girls Clubs Association’s national five-a-side tournament in Manchester where they faced teams from across the UK.

Coach Mark Williams said: “This was a great achievement for the boys. It was their first competition and they didn’t lose a game until the final.”

The club has gone from strength to strength after receiving funding boosts from Bridgend County Borough Council’s Community Chest scheme to help develop the game, and Mark added: “The Community Chest scheme has been a vital lifeline for us. Since we received our first funding award around four years ago we have been able to drastically increase the opportunities for local youngsters to play organised football, without the need to travel outside of the valley.

“The funding has helped us to send volunteers on training to achieve their FAW coaching badges, and we now run four teams in various age groups.”

Managed by Bridgend County Borough Council and agreed by a panel of volunteers with support from Sport Wales and National Lottery funding, the Community Chest scheme provides up to £1,500 in grant funding to help grass roots sports clubs and organisations to get more local people taking part in sport and physical activity.

Councillor Phil White, Bridgend County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, said: “I’m delighted that Community Chest funding has contributed to the Wyndham Boys and Girls Clubs’ footballing success. Everyone across the country has been on a euphoric high, gripped by the outstanding achievements of the Wales team out in France, and their success will undoubtedly generate even more interest in football among youngsters for many years to come.

“With passionate and committed coaches and volunteers like Mark, clubs can use the Community Chest scheme to help them thrive and develop our next generation of soccer stars.”

More than £1.2m has been invested in grassroots sport in Bridgend County Borough since the Community chest scheme began in 1999, and more than 40 different sports have benefited.

As well as educating coaches, the scheme can be used to fund and support various projects, including purchasing new or additional sports equipment, and establishing new teams.

Councillor White added: “Additional Community Chest funding has also been made available to help tackle inequalities in sport in Wales. The most recent School Sport and Active Adults surveys highlighted the fact that although there has been progress across the country in getting more children hooked on sport, there is still a disparity between boys and girls, people with disabilities, people from deprived communities and people from ethnic minorities.

“So, I’d urge anybody who is interested in introducing a new sport or club to Bridgend County Borough to take advantage of the scheme.” 

The closing date for the next round of funding for the Community Chest scheme in Bridgend County Borough is Monday 11 July, while further rounds of funding will be awarded in September and December.

For more information about the scheme, or to apply for funding, visit the ‘Funding & Support’ pages at www.sportwales.org.uk.

For support with completing your application contact Andrew Jones at Bridgend County Borough Council on 01656 642745 or email andrew.jones2@bridgend.gov.uk

Last Updated: 30/06/2016
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