Football is so much more than a game. It can play a huge part in the health and well being of the nation by getting young people active and contributing to the social agenda through combating obesity, crime, drug abuse and promoting education and community cohesion. Football is the world’s most popular sport and children everywhere enjoy the fun of playing the game. We want every child in Wales to have the opportunity to join in that fun.
As a father myself, I know the impact that football has on my sons. It keeps them spirited, healthy and passionate; it gives them a release from their academic studies. I can’t imagine not having football in my life. It’s simply who I am. - Ian Rush
Peter Lee OBE, Chairman of the Welsh Football Trust Explains "Our Level Playing Field campaign targets young people on the fringes of society who find it difficult to play football regularly, or even at all. The campaign is designed to break down financial barriers and encourage those with disabilities and members of the BME Community to play football with the aim of
ensuring that every young person who wants to play the game can do so."
"The Welsh Football Trust has already achieved a great deal in increasing participation and setting up coaching and development programmes throughout Wales. But with your help we could do so much more. We aim to provide children with the chance to improve their fitness, communicate, learn discipline and give them the sense of belonging that playing for a team can engender. The campaign will provide children in Wales with a Level Playing Field to help them shape their lives on and off the pitch".
Kate is a teenager who thought she would never play football. She had a ‘can’t do, won’t do’ attitude to life. Kate looks like any other 17 year old, but has the learning capability of a 6 year old. Her disability has fuelled an inner frustration and communication barrier. She thought it would be impossible to make friends and was a target for bullies.
To combat the frustration, her Mum and Dad gave her a football to kick about. She joined a football club designed to support young children with disabilities and has never missed a session since! She now openly communicates with others, laughs regularly and can catch a ball – something so easily taken for granted by others.
"Football has given my daughter a ‘can do, will do’ attitude, she has become a determined, motivated young lady who isn’t judged by others, and is seen as part of the team. She is accepted for who she is and has a better chance in life because of her love for the game. If she could speak to you now she would tell you how much she loves football – it’s improved her life more than I could ever express."
Kate’s Mum, Sharon Jackson