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To receive a call at lunch time of a football session in Lampeter one afternoon, advising me that I had won the Community Coach of the year for the FAW Community awards definitely brightened up my day.
I had no idea I’d even been nominated, so to be told I’d won was a huge surprise. I received a certificate in the post and was told they’d ring me back with some more details.
I was invited down to the Community Awards Dinner, hosted by McDonalds, along with all the other winners at the Cardiff City Stadium, the day of the Wales vs Andorra qualifier; which I got to watch after. The ceremony was great, and to have ex Internationals Craig Bellamy and Danny Gabbidon there to present the awards was even more special. It was also touching for me, as the pair are also ex West Ham players, my club. It was great to see the winners from around Wales, people and teachers and whole clubs that commit so much time to football in their community. Their hard work really does reflect in how well the National team are doing right now.
The award was amazing to collect, but it didn’t stop there. Each winner also received a framed Wales shirt with their name on, something I will treasure forever; along with being taken onto the pitch at half time. I was also filmed and put into a little winner’s video that played out whilst I collected my award. In the video, the voice over explained my role in the community. That I’ve coached with Tregaron juniors for over six years, before moving onto the Ladies Senior team, and taking them through an unbeaten League campaign last season on the way to winning the League and League Cup double. I am now in my third season of running the Under 12 girls turn up and play club in Tregaron, to which we have nearly thirty members signed up. To take these girls into senior football would be a full circle complete. I also help set up the Lampeter girl’s sessions, and have coached in the Aberaeron and Aberystwyth sessions over the last two years. I also am head coach for the Under 12’s team in the Performance Centre for Girls in Ceredigion down in Synod Inn.
It’s great to get recognised for the work I put into football, but it kind of comes easy because of how much I enjoy it. I know I’m not the only one who dedicates so much time to football in the area, but I’m very grateful for the recognition. Thank you to everyone who nominated and voted for me, it means a lot.