Urdd Gobaith Cymru and FA of Wales launch a new partnership to increase participation for children and teenagers and build support for Welsh national teams.
The Urdd’s Sports Department is one of the leading providers of Welsh medium sports in Wales and offers a range of specialist provision in order to encourage children, young people, and families across the country to participate in sports on a weekly basis.
The FAW has pride in its role of being an integral part of Welsh culture, history and identity and believes the partnership with the Urdd will further strengthen those links.
The partnership focuses on two areas:
- The FAW Trust aims to grow its number of Huddle centres, aimed at introducing football to 5–12-year-old girls, into 100 centres by 2024. The Urdd currently operates 7 Huddle centres across Wales, and aims to further increase this provision in partnership by identifying areas of need with a focus on delivering centres in rural areas across the country.
- Summer football camps for boys and girls at Urdd centres during the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 tournament.
- The FAW are to help deliver recreational football sessions as part of the Urdd’s brand-new nationwide campaign #FelMerch (transl. ‘Like a girl’). The #FelMerch project aims to break the barriers for female participation in sport by inspiring, supporting, and empowering girls and young women between 14 and 25 to become active through sport within a safe and welcoming environment.
Building national team support and awareness
- National team press conferences at Urdd centres and events, including Cymru’s first squad announcement for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers, which is being held at Llangrannog.
- Transport for schools and clubs to support Cymru’s women’s team at home matches, including October’s match against Estonia at the Cardiff City Stadium and November’s match against Greece at Parc y Scarlets.
- Regular Cymru content creation for Urdd social media channels and digital publications, for children and teenagers, including player ambassadors from both men’s and women’s national teams.
- Urdd staff and apprentices are to help the FAW deliver football sessions for disadvantaged schools at Cymru away match locations in 2022.
Sian Lewis, Urdd Chief Executive: “The relationship between the Urdd and FAW has gone from strength to strength and it is great to see us working together in order to offer unique experiences for our members. We share the same vision, to ensure that more and more children in Wales can take part in sports on a weekly basis. This is especially true for girls and we’re very eager to break down the barriers for participation, through initiatives such as our recently launched #FelMerch project.”
“We look forward to inviting the FAW to some of our #FelMerch sessions to support us inspire a generation to get involved in sports and offer unique experiences for our members.”
Ian Gwyn Hughes, FAW Head of Communications: “The FAW is very excited to strengthen our partnership with the Urdd, after working closely over the last few years to drive Welsh language and culture, both in Wales and globally.”
“The partnership will increase the number of opportunities available for children, teenagers and young adults in Wales to play football and support our national team through support for attending Cymru matches and unique content on the Urdd’s social media platforms and magazines. The Urdd has a proven track record for developing the stars of the future, with household names Aaron
Ramsey and Natasha Harding as prime examples, and we hope this partnership can help find the stars of the future.”