They wanted a safe environment to play football, free from
homophobia. And thanks to their commitment, and that of many other
volunteers since then, the club now has more than 50 members, male
and female, and of all football abilities.
But while the club has grown - attracting members from across
Cardiff, West Wales, the Valleys and Bristol - it kept coming up
against a stumbling block. Just one qualified coach.
Ali Mahoney says, "With just one qualified coach to lead our
training sessions, it was often impractical given the numbers and
abilities that we got along to training.
"We had to rely on non-qualified volunteers to coach and it was
pretty challenging to ensure that players got the most out of
training. We knew we needed to upskill volunteers so that training
sessions would be better structured and catering for all abilities;
from novices to very capable. We had another problem in that we
only had one qualified first aider in the club so we needed to sort
that out too."
We applied for a Community Chest grant from Sport Wales which
was successful. This gave us the funding to book courses for our
"For the first time in the club's six-year history," says
Mahoney. "Members of our club are becoming qualified coaches and
attending First Aid and Welfare courses. Without the Sport Wales
grant of £1,120 from the Community Chest programme, there is no way
that we would have been able to upskill so many people. For an
amateur football club like ours, we would have been really limited
in what courses we could have funded."
The club recently won the South Wales FA region Grassroots
Impact Award, sponsored by McDonalds and in partnership with the
FAW and Welsh Football Trust.
As a result of the project:
- 4 coaches qualified at FAW Level 1
- 4 volunteers took the FAW First Aid for Football Awareness
- 2 volunteers took the FAW Welfare and Child protection
- 3 coaches are currently on the FAW Level 2 course
- 2 coaches are booked onto the FAW Level 1 Goalkeeper Coaching
Get in touch
Cardiff Dragons FC is an active member of the recently formed
LGB & T Sport Cymru group which was established as a result of
Sport Wales research into the LGB community and their involvement
in sport. You can follow the group here (www.twitter.com/LGBTsportcymru)
and here (www.facebook.com/LGBTsportcymru)
If you want to join the club or just find out more because
you're interested in increasing LGB &T sports opportunities,
get in touch with the Dragons: