19 Dec 2008

Junior footballers in Conwy have been served a helping of festive funding with all the trimmings this winter, thanks to National Lottery funding from the Sports Council for Wales.

More than £2,600 of Community Chest funds has been awarded to three coast teams in the run up to Christmas, bringing early stocking fillers that are sure to rouse a festive cheer from the teams’ players, volunteers and fans.

1. Llandudno Football Club

Llandudno Football Club has been awarded just over £795 to buy new kit, such as bibs, balls and a medical bag, as well as all weather pitch hire. The Orme outfit boasts an impressive junior section, with teams aged from seven up to Under 16s but there is no bridging team from there into the adult first team. So the club is forming an Under 18s side to keep this crucial age group interested in sport and activity to feed them through to the first team. Organisers hope the additional side will keep local teenagers fit, competitive, confident and qualified; with many players opting to pursue coaching courses to improve their ability.

2. Colwyn United FC

Colwyn United FC has been awarded just over £870 to pay for coaching and first aid courses and to buy new kit, such as bibs, cones and goals. The club has formed an Under 10s side, due to high demand from local youngsters, which competes in the local junior league. The Community Chest funded coaching courses will boost the clubs number of coaches and first aiders from one to three.

3. Penrhyn Bay FC Under 16s

Penrhyn Bay FC Under 16s has been awarded just over £980 towards all weather pitch hire and essential kit, such as balls, bibs and cones. The brand new start up team for Under 16s aims to increase high quality coaching opportunities for Penrhyn youngsters, which will also filter through to local schools with few coaching resources. The new team comes on the back of changes to the Aberconwy and Colwyn District League age structure, prompting a new opportunity for local youngsters.

Since the inception of the Sports Council for Wales’ Community Chest scheme in 1999, communities across the length and breadth of Wales have been investing heavily in sports and physical activity projects.

Chair of the Sports Council for Wales, Philip Carling, said: "Community Chest has been and continues to be a huge success and is very popular throughout Conwy. The increase in funding and the greater scope of the scheme will increase its effectiveness.

"Panels based in each of the 22 local authorities in Wales hold the purse strings and have delegated authority to award grants to worthwhile projects. We want to hear of bright ideas and projects that will get more people in Conwy more active, more often."

As a result of the popularity and undoubted success of the scheme, the Sports Council for Wales is raising the level of grant. Organisations keen to develop sport and physical activity in Wales can now receive up to £1000 for a qualifying project over a 12 month period.

The scope of the scheme has also been widened. Grants have traditionally been awarded to sports clubs and sporting bodies. Now most organisations seeking to develop physical activity and sporting projects will be eligible for an award.

The Community Chest has recently been infiltrating additional areas of work such as the voluntary sector (e.g. Voluntary Youth Clubs, Women’s Institute) and the workplace, as well as continuing to support projects in the health and education arenas. So while funding the local football club might get the younger members of the community moving, backing a walking group will encourage more adults to get active.