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FUN-FILLED DAY AT LLANFECHAIN
Participants in the TNS football day at Llanfechain.
LLANFECHAIN Primary School played host to a very successful youth football day, as 13 schools turned up to take part in a fun-filled five-a-side tournament and skills competition organised by TNS FC.
The day gave an opportunity for many of the schools to play mini-matches against one another as well as a dribbling challenge, penalty shootout area and shooting wall.
FAW football development officer Kevin Moon, who has been working closely with TNS academy directors Peter Griffiths and Martin Pope to develop young talent and support schools, indicated that fun was the priority in the day.
“We want to give all these kids a great day, our main purpose is providing fun. The five-a-side format allows everyone to get a touch on the ball and to feel involved.
“In the old days we were forced to use huge goals and it wasn’t a lot of fun for anyone as the scores would end up at 20-all. By providing local schools with resource packs and a bag of equipment and goals, we are encouraging more involvement and structured football. The resource pack provides certificates and gold, silver or bronze awards for the kids, which gives them all a sense of achievement as well.
With so many rural communities and distance between schools and the difficulty in bringing local schools together due to curricular commitments, the day was a massive success in allowing more than 100 children enjoy a festival day of football.
The initiative being run by the FAW is a stepping-stone to a brighter future for Welsh Football, with special attention on the grass-roots level, which will ultimately allow some great talent to be nurtured, which will filter through to the national team.
“It’s like a pyramid” said Kevin Moon, “If we broaden the base and make football more accessible to young people then we will inevitably increase the chances of getting top players through to a national level in future years.
There is also emphasis put on the role that local clubs play in the development of young players, and the positive effect the TNS scholars, who helped run the day, will have on the school children.
“These kids will see the tracksuit, see the badge and respect these scholars. The players can tell them how they got there, about their college education, how to live a healthy lifestyle and that they should get to bed early! It is a very positive initiative and hopefully in a few years time the schools will be in a position to run these events independently and help the development of the players.
“Of course, this is an excellent way to encourage exercise for lots of kids too; they’re all getting an hour of running around, and it all promotes a healthy lifestyle in the end, which is great.
Although there was no overall winner on the day, the children involved gave it a huge thumbs-up and said they would definitely come again.
27 May 2021
 
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