Guest Article by “Sport Wales”
This week – as part of the National Lottery Dedicated To… campaign, we are focussing on the heroes of grassroots football across Wales.
The start of this year’s season has been far from normal and has required extra work to adapt to the new normal with PPE, Covid-19 compliance and thermometers all now part of regular training.
Dawn Elliot has been organising and administrating at Rhosddu FC in Wrexham ever since the club was started by her husband 25 years ago. And just over 12 months ago, Dawn also took on the secretary duties at adult football club, Lex 11.
“No one thought Rhosddu would last a season but we’re still here,” she laughs. Of course, this season has thrown up more challenges than most but Dawn – who, by day, is an administrator at Wrexham Foyer which provides supported living for homeless people – explains how the club has got everything in hand:
“We applied for National Lottery funding through the Sport Wales Be Active Wales Fund for both clubs. That enabled us to invest in lots of PPE, sanitisers and thermometers. It also means that we can keep paying pitch hire because we’d lost a lot of income in lockdown with no membership fees and no fundraising activity.
“We have had to undergo training with the FAW Trust, understand guidelines, submit risk assessments and set up Covid registers. It’s been quite a bit of extra work for everybody.”
Rhosddu FC provides opportunities from under 11s through to under 16s with players then moving on to Lex 11’s senior side.
The clubs started back at training in October:
“Sessions look quite different. We have a rota of Mums who look after first aid and make sure everyone’s hands are sanitised before and after training. We sanitise all the equipment.
“Both clubs have also used National Lottery funding to invest in portable floodlights so that matches and training can take place at various venues.
“The impact of the National Lottery support has just been huge. Winter training sessions are expensive and at Rhosddu alone we have five squads who train once a week. We were really struggling because we’d lost so much income. I’d like to say a big thank you to all National Lottery players.”
With the help of National Lottery funding, thousands of grassroots sports workers and volunteers from local clubs and organisations across the UK, have been be able to continue to help the nation to remain active, happy and motivated during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, many of which are supporting the most vulnerable in our communities across the UK during the Coronavirus crisis.DOWNLOAD THE NHS APP